Author(s): Ettenberg A, Pettit HO, Bloom FE, Koob GF
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Abstract The hypothesis that separate neural systems mediate the reinforcing properties of opiate and psychomotor stimulant drugs was tested in rats trained to lever-press of IV injections of either cocaine or heroin during daily 3-h sessions. Pretreatment with the opiate receptor antagonist drug naltrexone produced dose-dependent increases in heroin self-administration, but had no effect on the rate or pattern of cocaine self-administration. Similarly, pretreatment with low doses of the dopamine antagonist drug alpha-flupenthixol produced dose-dependent increases in cocaine but not heroin self-administration. High doses of alpha-flupenthixol eliminated all responding for cocaine and slightly reduced heroin self-administration. The specificity with which the two antagonist drugs exerted their behavioral effects strongly suggests that independent neural substrates are responsible for the reinforcing actions of heroin and cocaine.
This article was published in Psychopharmacology (Berl)
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy