Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa E. Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Third Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Pietras

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Although our understanding of the mechanism of action of gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its metabolic precursors has increased dramatically in the past decade, the mechanism of action responsible for their utility as discriminative stimuli has yet to be fully studied. Previous research has characterized the discriminative stimulus effects of both GHB and GBL. The aim of the present investigation was to elucidate the discriminative stimulus effects of 1,4-BD. In this study, male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate 1,4-BD [250 mg/kg, IP; n=16] from vehicle under a fixed ratio 10 (FR 10) or fixed ratio 20 (FR 20) schedule of food reinforcement. Stimulus generalization tests were then conducted with several compounds. Results indicated that the discriminative stimulus effects of 1,4-BD fully generalized to those of GBL, although at the doses tested, GHB did not fully substitute for 1,4-BD. Ethanol, alprazolam, flunitrazepam, baclofen, and ketamine, all failed to produce significant 1,4-BD-appropriate responses. These findings suggest that 1,4-BD and GBL are more potent than GHB, but that all three compounds produce similar subjective effects that differ from those of other sedative-hypnotic drugs.

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