A comparison of the reinforcing efficacy of 3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") with cocaine in rhesus monkeys

Joshua A. Lile, Jason T. Ross, Michael A. Nader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to compare the reinforcing efficacy of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') to cocaine. Rhesus monkeys (n = 4) responded under a within-session, exponentially increasing, progressive-ratio (PR) schedule of cocaine reinforcement. Breaking point (BP) for the PR schedule was defined as the final response requirement completed before 2 h had elapsed without an injection delivered. Saline and doses of cocaine (0.003-0.3 mg/kg/injection) and MDMA (0.01-0.56 mg/kg/injection) were substituted for the training dose of cocaine for at least five consecutive sessions. Both cocaine and MDMA functioned as reinforcers, but self-administration of MDMA occurred at fewer doses and a significantly lower peak BP was obtained for MDMA. These data demonstrate that MDMA functions as a reinforcer, although its reinforcing efficacy appears to be less than that of cocaine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 9 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse research grants DA-06634 (MAN) and DA-05934 (JAL). The authors thank D.R. Claytor, C.L. Hubbard and T.L. Moore for technical assistance and Drs. J.R. Tobin and R. Sherertz for consultation on catheter tract infection prevention.

Keywords

  • Cocaine
  • Drug abuse
  • MDMA
  • Reinforcing efficacy
  • Rhesus monkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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