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Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Oct 31;18(1). pii: pyu014. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyu014.

Effects of α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone and 4-methyl-N-ethylcathinone, two synthetic cathinones commonly found in second-generation "bath salts," on intracranial self-stimulation thresholds in rats.

Author information

1
Arizona State University, Department of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience Area, Tempe, Arizona (Dr Watterson, Mr Burrows, Mr Hernandez, and Dr Olive); Arizona State University Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Tempe, Arizona (Dr Olive); Discovery and Analytical Science, Research Triangle Institute International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (Drs Moore, Grabenauer, and Marusich). lrwatter@asu.edu.
2
Arizona State University, Department of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience Area, Tempe, Arizona (Dr Watterson, Mr Burrows, Mr Hernandez, and Dr Olive); Arizona State University Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Tempe, Arizona (Dr Olive); Discovery and Analytical Science, Research Triangle Institute International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (Drs Moore, Grabenauer, and Marusich).

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Use of synthetic cathinones, which are designer stimulants found in "bath salts," has increased dramatically in recent years. Following governmental bans of methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone, and methylone, a second generation of synthetic cathinones with unknown abuse liability has emerged as replacements.

METHODS:

Using a discrete trials current intensity threshold intracranial self-stimulation procedure, the present study assessed the effects of 2 common second-generation synthetic cathinones, α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (0.1-5 mg/kg) and 4-methyl-N-ethcathinone (1-100 mg/kg) on brain reward function. Methamphetamine (0.1-3 mg/kg) was also tested for comparison purposes.

RESULTS:

Results revealed both α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone and 4-methyl-N-ethcathinone produced significant intracranial self-stimulation threshold reductions similar to that of methamphetamine. α-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (1 mg/kg) produced a significant maximal reduction in intracranial self-stimulation thresholds (~19%) most similar to maximal reductions produced by methamphetamine (1 mg/kg, ~20%). Maximal reductions in intracranial self-stimulation thresholds produced by 4-methyl-N-ethcathinone were observed at 30 mg/kg (~15%) and were comparable with those observed with methamphetamine and α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone tested at the 0.3-mg/kg dose (~14%). Additional analysis of the ED50 values from log-transformed data revealed the rank order potency of these drugs as methamphetamine ≈ α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone>4-methyl-N-ethcathinone.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest that the newer second-generation synthetic cathinones activate the brain reward circuitry and thus may possess a similar degree of abuse potential as prototypical illicit psychostimulants such as methamphetamine as well as the first generation synthetic cathinone methylenedioxypyrovalerone, as previously reported.

KEYWORDS:

ICSS; abuse liability; bath salts; psychostimulants; synthetic cathinones

PMID:
25522379
PMCID:
PMC4368864
DOI:
10.1093/ijnp/pyu014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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