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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1998 Feb;59(2):433-8.

Lack of NMDA receptor involvement in caffeine-induced locomotor stimulation and tolerance in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The involvement of NMDA-type glutamate receptors in caffeine's locomotor stimulant effects and the development of tolerance to these effects was examined in rats. Caffeine and the noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonists, MK-801 and phencyclidine (PCP), were examined alone and in combination. Caffeine produced a biphasic dose-effect curve. Both MK-801 and PCP increased locomotor activity at the highest doses tested. MK-801 and PCP shifted the caffeine curve upward, but only with the highest doses that increased locomotor activity when given alone. For the tolerance experiment, osmotic pumps containing either MK-801 or nothing at all and were implanted in rats that were given either caffeinated or drug-free tap water to drink. All rats drinking caffeine showed tolerance to its locomotor stimulant effects, whereas rats drinking drug-free tap water did not. Chronic infusion of MK-801 (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg/day) failed to block the development of tolerance to caffeine. The 0.3 mg/kg/day infusion of MK-801 appeared to slightly delay the development of tolerance to caffeine, but this effect was probably due to the locomotor stimulant effects of this infused dose of MK-801 alone. These data provide no evidence that NMDA-type glutamate receptors play a crucial role in mediating caffeine's locomotor stimulant effects or tolerance to these effects.

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