MDMA stimulus generalization to the 5-HT(1A) serotonin agonist 8-hydroxy-2- (di-n-propylamino)tetralin

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2000 Jul;66(3):483-8. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(00)00174-x.


The abused substance N-methyl-1-(3, 4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane, or MDMA, serves as a training drug in animals. Because the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist NAN-190 has been shown to partially antagonize the MDMA stimulus, and because NAN-190 binds at several different types of receptors, in the present study we examined other agents (e.g., adrenergic, dopaminergic, sigma) in tests of stimulus generalization and stimulus antagonism to determine their influence on the MDMA stimulus. Each of these agents (i.e., clenbuterol, S(-)propranolol, R(+)SCH-23390, amantadine, NANM) was without effect on MDMA-appropriate responding. The finding that NAN-190 behaves as a 5-HT(1A) partial agonist in some studies prompted examination of the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist 8-OH DPAT and its optical isomers. MDMA-stimulus generalization occurred to racemic 8-OH DPAT (ED(50) = 0.3 mg/kg), R(+)8-OH DPAT (ED(50) = 0.2 mg/kg), and to the 5-HT(1A) receptor partial agonist S(-)8-OH DPAT (ED(50) = 0.4 mg/kg). The results suggest that the MDMA stimulus might possess a 5-HT(1A) component of action. Furthermore, because 8-OH DPAT is known to enhance the stimulus effects of hallucinogens as discriminative stimuli, and because MDMA reportedly enhances the effects of hallucinogenic agents in humans ("flipping," "candy flipping"), this latter MDMA-induced phenomenon might involve a 5-HT(1A) mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Drug Interactions
  • Male
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT1
  • Serotonin Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology*


  • Piperazines
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT1
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • 1-(2-methoxyphenyl)-4-(4-(2-phthalimido)butyl)piperazine
  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine