The discriminative stimulus properties of d-amphetamine, cocaine, and apomorphine were assessed in rats trained in a two-lever, food-reinforced drug discrimination paradigm to discriminate 1.0 mg/kg d-amphetamine from saline. After determination of these dose-response relationships, the rats were divided into two groups. One group (6-OHDA) was given injections of desmethylimipramine (DMI, 30 mg/kg, IP) and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 100 μg/10 μl each ventricle), while the other group (sham) was given the same dose of DMI and 6-OHDA vehicle (intraventricularly). Beginning approximately 45 days after intraventricular injections, dose-response relationships were redetermined for all three drugs. Larger doses of d-amphetamine were required to elicit the same response in the 6-OHDA group (i.e. the dose-response relationship was shifted to the right), while no change was observed in the sham group. Any changes in the dose-response relationships for cocaine and apomorphine were comparable in the 6-OHDA and sham group. The rate-decreasing effects were not altered in either group for any of the drugs. Upon sacrifice, dopamine (DA) was found to be significantly depleted in the accumbens, caudate and rest of brain of the 6-OHDA group. Levels of norepinephrine and serotonin were unaltered. These data suggest that central DA-containing neurons play a role in the discriminative stimulus properties of psychomotor stimulants in rats.
- Discriminative stimulus
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