Preclinical Evidence That 5-HT1B Receptor Agonists Show Promise as Medications for Psychostimulant Use Disorders
5-HT1B receptor agonists enhance cocaine intake during daily self-administration sessions but decrease cocaine intake when tested after prolonged abstinence. We examined if 5-HT1B receptor agonists produce similar abstinence-dependent effects on methamphetamine intake.
Male rats were trained to self-administer methamphetamine (0.1 mg/kg, i.v.) on low (fixed ratio 5 and variable ratio 5) and high (progressive ratio) effort schedules of reinforcement until intake was stable. Rats were then tested for the effects of the selective 5-HT1B receptor agonist, CP 94,253 (5.6 or 10 mg/kg), or the less selective but clinically available 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonist, zolmitriptan (10 mg/kg), on methamphetamine self-administration both before and after a 21-day forced abstinence period during which the rats remained in their home cages.
The inverted U-shaped, methamphetamine dose-response function for intake on the fixed ratio 5 schedule was shifted downward by CP 94,253 both before and after abstinence. The CP 94,253-induced decrease in methamphetamine intake was replicated in rats tested on a variable ratio 5 schedule, and the 5-HT1B receptor antagonist SB 224,289 (10 mg/kg) reversed this effect. CP 94,253 also attenuated methamphetamine intake on a progressive ratio schedule both pre- and postabstinence. Similarly, zolmitriptan attenuated methamphetamine intake on a variable ratio 5 schedule both pre- and postabstinence, and the latter effect was sustained after each of 2 more treatments given every 2 to 3 days prior to daily sessions.
Unlike the abstinence-dependent effect of 5-HT1B receptor agonists on cocaine intake reported previously, both CP 94,253 and zolmitriptan decreased methamphetamine intake regardless of abstinence. These findings suggest that 5-HT1B receptor agonists may have clinical efficacy for psychostimulant use disorders.