A Determination of the Hedonic Properties of Synthetic Cathinones 4-MEC and MDPV Through the Use of Intracranial Self-Stimulation
The use of synthetic cathinones or "bath salts" has risen dramatically in recent years with one of the most popular being Methylendioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Following the temporary legislative ban on the sale and distribution of this compound , a multitude of other cathinone derivatives have been synthesized. The current study seeks to compare the abuse potential of MDPV with one of the emergent synthetic cathinones 4-methylethcathinone (4-MEC), based on their respective ability to lower current thresholds in an intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) paradigm. Following acute administration (0.1, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg/kg i.p.) MDPV was found to significantly lower ICSS thresholds at all doses tested (F4,35=11.549, p<0.001). However, following acute administration (0.3,1,3,10,30 mg/kg i.p) 4-MEC produced no significant ICSS threshold depression (F5,135= 0.622, p = 0.684). Together these findings suggest that while MDPV may possess significant abuse potential, other synthetic cathinones such as 4-MEC may have a drastically reduced potential for abuse.