Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. John L. Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Andy Tang


Conditioned place preference (CPP) is a behavioral paradigm used to assess potential reinforcing properties of psychoactive substances. dl-\-a-Ethyltryptamine acetate (Monase) has been compared to 3,4-memylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), which is known to readily establish CPP (Bilsky, Hubbell, Delconte, & Reid, 1991; Bilsky & Reid, 1991; Schechter, 1991). A recent study reported that J/-l-a-ethyltryptamine acetate (a-ET) has substituted for the discriminative stimulus effects of MDMA (Glennon, 1993). The present investigation was conducted to assess whether a-ET establishes CPP as an additional behavioral model considering similarities between MDMA and a-ET in rats. As a preliminary investigation (experiment 1), eight Sprague-Dawley rats were administered three conditioning trials using morphine sulfate, a drug well known to establish CPP in rats (van der Kooy, 1987). Morphine established CPP after three pairings, with the current procedure. In experiment 2, 12 Sprague-Dawley rats were used to test three doses of a-ET (3.5 mg/kg, 7.0 mg/kg, and 14.0 mg/kg), to find an adequate dosage of a-ET to test in the final experiment. After two conditioning trials, the two higher doses showed trends toward conditioned place aversion. Data concerning the 3.5 mg/kg dose were inconclusive, largely due to a great amount of variability within the control group. Therefore, two subjects were added (one to each group), and two subsequent conditioning trials were conducted in the 3.5 mg/kg and control groups. Data remained inconclusive regarding the establishment of CPP; no significant treatment effect at 3.5 mg/kg a-ET is reported. In experiment 3, three conditioning trials (pairings) of 3.5 mg/kg were completed in eight Sprague-Dawley and eight Long-Evans rats to replicate the preliminary finding that 3.5 mg/kg does not establish CPP in Sprague-Dawley rats with repeated pairings. Differences in the establishment or degree of CPP acquired between two different strains of rat were also assessed. The data suggest that a-ET (3.5 mg/kg, i.p.) does not establish CPP in either Sprague-Dawley or Long-Evans rats.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only