Lobeline augments and inhibits cocaine-induced hyperactivity in rats

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Lobeline has high affinity for nicotinic receptors and alters presynaptic dopamine storage and release in brain. Moreover, lobeline decreases the reinforcing and locomotor-activating properties of methamphetamine, suggesting that lobeline may be a pharmacotherapy for psychostimulant abuse. This study determined if lobeline alters cocaine-induced hyperactivity and if lobeline alters the induction and/or expression of sensitization to cocaine. On Days 1–12, male rats were administered lobeline (0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg) or saline, placed in an automated activity monitor for 20 min, administered cocaine (10, 20 or 30 mg/kg) or saline and returned to the monitor for 60 min. On Day 13, the effect of lobeline on the induction and expression of sensitization to cocaine was determined. Lobeline did not alter the effect of cocaine after acute injection. However, 1.0 mg/kg lobeline attenuated cocaine (10 and 20 mg/kg)-induced hyperactivity after repeated administration and prevented the development of sensitization to these cocaine doses. Interestingly, 0.3 mg/kg lobeline augmented cocaine (10 mg/kg)-induced hyperactivity after repeated administration. Lobeline did not alter the effect of 30 mg/kg cocaine. The present results indicate a complex interaction of lobeline with cocaine and support other research indicating a role for nicotinic receptors in the development of sensitization to psychostimulants.

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