John J. Panos

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Third Advisor

Dr. Bradley Huitema

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Despite the popularity of polydrug abuse among recreational MDMA users, relatively few controlled experimental studies have documented the neurobehavioral effects of MDMA in combination with other abused substances. In this study, the neurochemical and behavioral effects of MD MA/cocaine combinations were assessed using in vivo microdialysis with simultaneous measurement of locomotor activity (LMA). Rats were administered cocaine (10 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg, IP), MDMA (1.5 mg/kg or 3.0 mg/kg, IP) or combinations of cocaine and MDMA during microdialysis experiments. Microdialysis samples were collected every 30 min for three hours prior to drug injections. Following drug administration, six additional 30 min samples were collected over a three-hour period. Samples were analyzed by HPLC with electrochemical detection. Locomotor activity was monitored in microdialysis chambers equipped with infrared emitters and detectors. The results of this study suggest the possibility that MDMA and cocaine produce additive or synergistic neurochemical and behavioral effects. This preclinical study may have important clinical implications and may help explain the common practice of polydrug use among MDMA users.