Active cocaine immunization attenuates the discriminative properties of cocaine

Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000 May;8(2):163-7. doi: 10.1037//1064-1297.8.2.163.


Anticocaine antibody, resulting from immunization with the cocaine-keyhole-limpet-hemocyanin (KLH) conjugate, weakened the ability of cocaine to act as a discriminative stimulus in rats. Subjects were given extensive training to discriminate 5.0 mg/kg of cocaine from saline prior to immunization. Several weeks following immunization with cocaine-KLH, subjects failed to reliably discriminate cocaine from saline. Nonimmunized control rats retained the ability to discriminate cocaine from saline throughout the experiment. These results further demonstrate that active immunization is effective in blunting cocaine effects. Immunized subjects were able to discriminate 20 mg/kg of cocaine, however, suggesting that anticocaine antibody may be overwhelmed by large cocaine doses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / immunology
  • Cocaine / immunology*
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects
  • Discrimination, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Hemocyanins / immunology
  • Rats
  • Vaccination*


  • Hemocyanins
  • keyhole-limpet hemocyanin
  • Cocaine