Date of Award

5-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

Program

Psychology - General

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Adam Prus

Abstract

Tobacco smoking in the United States is used by approximately 25% of adults. Many studies using animal models have suggested that nicotine has rewarding properties. Contrastingly, several studies have also found it to be a weakly reinforcing substance at low and high dose levels. Due to this, other tobacco constituents, such as the monoamine oxidase inhibitor norharmane which is found in tobacco leaf and smoke, may be responsible for tobacco addiction by potentiating the rewarding properties of nicotine. Several studies have attempted to observe this phenomenon, however, monoamine oxidase inhibitors that are not found in tobacco leaf or smoke have been used. Thus, the present study utilized a conditioned place preference paradigm to observe whether or not nicotine at dose levels of 0.15 and 0.30 mg/kg, and norharmane at dose levels of 5.0 and 10.0 mg/kg, could individually produce place preference, indicating drug seeking behavior of the rewarding properties of each compound. Finally, a combination of nicotine and norharmane were administered together, and the same parameters were observed. A significant place preference for either drug alone, nor in combination, produced significant results. In conclusion, norharmane was not found to potentiate the rewarding properties of nicotine, however the present study was able to provide data on the effects of norharmane in a conditioned place preference paradigm, which have never been observed before.

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