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Reinforcing and neurochemical effects of the "bath salts" constituents 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone (methylone) in male rats.

Schindler, CW and Thorndike, EB and Goldberg, SR and Lehner, KR and Cozzi, NV and Brandt, SD and Baumann, MH (2015) Reinforcing and neurochemical effects of the "bath salts" constituents 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone (methylone) in male rats. Psychopharmacology. ISSN 1432-2072

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Abstract

RATIONALE: 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone (methylone) are synthetic drugs found in so-called "bath salts" products. Both drugs exert their effects by interacting with monoamine transporter proteins. MDPV is a potent uptake blocker at transporters for dopamine and norepinephrine while methylone is a non-selective releaser at transporters for dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin (5-HT). OBJECTIVES: We hypothesized that prominent 5-HT-releasing actions of methylone would render this drug less reinforcing than MDPV. METHODS: To test this hypothesis, we compared behavioral effects of MDPV and methylone using intravenous (i.v.) self-administration on a fixed-ratio 1 schedule in male rats. Additionally, neurochemical effects of the drugs were examined using in vivo microdialysis in nucleus accumbens, in a separate cohort of rats. RESULTS: MDPV self-administration (0.03 mg/kg/inj) was acquired rapidly and reached 40 infusions per session, similar to the effects of cocaine (0.5 mg/kg/inj), by the end of training. In contrast, methylone self-administration (0.3 and 0.5 mg/kg/inj) was acquired slowly, and response rates only reached 20 infusions per session by the end of training. In dose substitution studies, MDPV and cocaine displayed typical inverted U-shaped dose-effect functions, but methylone did not. In vivo microdialysis revealed that i.v. MDPV (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg) increased extracellular dopamine while i.v. methylone (1 and 3 mg/kg) increased extracellular dopamine and 5-HT. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the hypothesis that elevations in extracellular 5-HT in the brain can dampen positive reinforcing effects of cathinone-type drugs. Nevertheless, MDPV and methylone are both self-administered by rats, suggesting these drugs possess significant abuse liability in humans.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-015-4057-0
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 08:18
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2017 05:43
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s00213-015-4057-0
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3413

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