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Science. 1987 Sep 4;237(4819):1219-23.

Cocaine receptors on dopamine transporters are related to self-administration of cocaine.


Although cocaine binds to several sites in the brain, the biochemical receptor mechanism or mechanisms associated with its dependence producing properties are unknown. It is shown here that the potencies of cocaine-like drugs in self-administration studies correlate with their potencies in inhibiting [3H]mazindol binding to the dopamine transporters in the rat striatum, but not with their potencies in binding to a large number of other presynaptic and postsynaptic binding sites. Thus, the cocaine receptor related to substance abuse is proposed to be the one associated with dopamine uptake inhibition.

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