Lobeline produces conditioned taste avoidance in rats

S. B. Harrod, L. P. Dwoskin, M. T. Bardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous results indicate that pretreatment with lobeline attenuates methamphetamine (METH) self-administration in rats, but not by acting as a substitute reinforcer. Given these findings, it has been suggested that lobeline may serve as a useful pharmacotherapy for psychostimulant abuse. However, because lobeline produces emesis and nausea in humans, the present study examined whether lobeline has direct effects on taste avoidance behavior in rats within the same dose range shown previously to decrease METH self-administration. Two experiments utilized a Pavlovian conditioning procedure to determine if lobeline produces conditioned taste avoidance (CTA) in rats. In Experiments 1 and 2, rats consumed either novel milk or salt solutions, respectively, and within 10 min, were injected with lobeline (0.3-3.0 mg/kg) or METH (0.3-3.0 mg/kg). A single-bottle test conducted 48 h after flavor-drug pairings indicated that the dose of lobeline that reduced METH self-administration in a previous study (i.e., 3.0 mg/kg) also produced reliable CTA for milk and salt solution. These findings suggest a need to develop lobeline analogs that reduce METH self-administration, but do not produce CTA following the consumption of a novel solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the expert technical assistance of S. Phillips and N. Benjamin. The use of lobeline for the treatment of psychostimulant abuse is protected by US Patent No. 5,830,904, which is assigned to the University of Kentucky and licensed to Yaupon Therapeutics. A potential royalty stream may result to LPD as determined by University arrangements and as a founder of Yaupon Therapeutics. This work was supported by NIH grants DA00399 (LPD), DA06018 (SBH), DA13519 (LPD, MTB).


  • Conditioned taste avoidance
  • Lobeline
  • Methamphetamine
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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