Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Lisa E. Baker
Dr. Alan Poling
Dr. Wayne Fuqua
Masters Thesis-Campus Only
Cocaine is a particularly prominent drug of abuse indicated by surveys conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (1997,2009). Cocaine abuse is associated with a high relapse rate. Developing effective treatments focused on preventing relapse may help diminish chronic cocaine use. Recent studies suggest involvement of the dynorphin/kappa opioid receptor system in neuroadaptations to cocaine abuse. Drugs targeting the kappa receptors are under investigation as potential pharmacotherapies.
The current study investigated the effects of the kappa opioid agonist salvinorin A on cocaine-discrimination in rats. Sixteen male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate 3.0 mg/kg cocaine from saline and tested for antagonism of the cocaine stimulus with salvinorin A (0.125-2.0 mg/kg). When tested in combination with cocaine, salvinorin A did not attenuate cocaine discrimination. When tested alone, salvinorin A produced significant cocaine-appropriate responding. The current findings are inconsistent with previous reports. Interpretation of the current findings is complicated by evidence for weak stimulus control by 3.0 mg/kg cocaine.
Austin, Amanda R., "Salvinorin A Fails to Attenuate Cocaine Discrimination in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats" (2010). Masters Theses. 352.