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

The present study sought to evaluate the discriminative stimulus effects of the anticonvulsant gabapentin in rats trained to discriminate 30.0 mg/kg gabapentin from vehicle in a two-lever drug discrimination task. All of the ten rats tested were able to establish gabapentin as an interoceptive cue. Gabapentin produced full generalization (≥ 80% gabapentin-lever responding) for itself at 30.0, 60.0, and 120.0 mg/kg doses. Pentobarbital produced full substitution, while pregabalin, carbamazepine, fentanyl, and buspirone produced partial substitution (≥ 60% gabapentin-lever responding) for gabapentin. Ethanol and raclopride did not substitute for gabapentin. The psychostimulant amphetamine did not produce substitution; however, the 0.25 mg/kg dose of amphetamine fully substituted in five of ten rats. Based on these findings, some depressant (i.e., pentobarbital and fentanyl), anxiolytic (i.e., buspirone), and anticonvulsant compounds (i.e., pregabalin and carbamazepine) produce full or partial substitution to 30.0 mg/kg gabapentin. Additionally, the dopamine releaser amphetamine also produced full substitution in half of the rats tested. Many of the compounds that produced substitution in this study are controlled substances capable of producing rewarding subjective effects. The substitution demonstrated in this study coincides with the past reports of poly-drug misuse, indicating the ability of gabapentin to modulate neurotransmitter pathways involved in positive drug effects. Thus, these modulatory effects should be considered by clinicians and researchers when working with gabapentin.

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