Effects of monoamine oxidase inhibitors on cocaine discrimination in rats

Michael B. Gatch, Cynthia M. Taylor, Elva Flores, Meghan Selvig, Michael J. Forster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study tested the time course of the discriminative stimulus effects of inhibitors of monoamine oxidase alone or in combination with cocaine. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate cocaine (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) from saline using a two-lever choice methodology. The nonselective monoamine oxidase inhibitors tranylcypromine (0.01-5 mg/kg) and phenelzine (1-25 mg/kg), the monoamine oxidase-A selective compound clorgyline (1-25 mg/kg), and the monoamine oxidase-B selective compounds pargyline (0.005-50 mg/kg) and selegiline (1-25 mg/kg) were tested for substitution 15 min or 24 h following administration, and in combination with 10 mg/kg of cocaine 24 and 48 h after administration. At 15 min, selegiline fully substituted for the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine, whereas all other compounds partially substituted. At 24 h, substitution of cocaine was diminished for all compounds except phenelzine, which produced a greater amount of substitution at 24 h than at 15 min. When cocaine was administered 24 h after clorgyline, selegiline, pargyline, and phenelzine, cocaine-appropriate responding was attenuated at intermediate doses of these drugs, whereas the highest doses did not alter cocaine-lever responding. All compounds except selegiline substantially decreased response rate and produced various adverse effects. At 48 h, the effects of all compounds except phenelzine were markedly reduced. Selectivity for monoamine oxidase-A or monoamine oxidase-B did not predict the ability to substitute for or attenuate the subjective effects of cocaine. These findings suggest that monoamine oxidase inhibitors can modulate the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine for at least 24 h, and may be useful for treatment of cocaine abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Cocaine
  • Dopamine receptors
  • Drug discrimination
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Rat


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