Methamphetamine-like discriminative stimulus effects of bupropion and its two hydroxy metabolites in male rhesus monkeys
The dopamine transporter (DAT) inhibitor and nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor antagonist bupropion is being investigated as a candidate agonist' medication for methamphetamine addiction. In addition to its complex pharmacology, bupropion also has two distinct pharmacologically active metabolites. However, the mechanism by which bupropion produces methamphetamine-like agonist' effects remains unknown. The aim of the present study was to determine the role of DAT inhibition, nACh receptor antagonism, and the hydroxybupropion metabolites in the methamphetamine-like discriminative stimulus effects of bupropion in rhesus monkeys. In addition, varenicline, a partial agonist at the nACh receptor, and risperidone, a dopamine antagonist, were tested as controls. Monkeys (n=4) were trained to discriminate 0.18mg/kg intramuscular methamphetamine from saline in a two-key food-reinforced discrimination procedure. The potency and time course of methamphetamine-like discriminative stimulus effects were determined for all compounds. Bupropion, methylphenidate, and 2S,3S-hydroxybupropion produced full, at least 90%, methamphetamine-like effects. 2R,3R-Hydroxybupropion, mecamylamine, and nicotine also produced full methamphetamine-like effects, but drug potency was more variable between monkeys. Varenicline produced partial methamphetamine-like effects, whereas risperidone did not. Overall, these results suggest DAT inhibition as the major mechanism of the methamphetamine-like agonist' effects of bupropion, although nACh receptor antagonism appeared, at least partially, to contribute. Furthermore, the contribution of the 2S,3S-hydroxybupropion metabolite could not be completely ruled out. Copyright (C) 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.