Serotonergic transmission has been suggested to modulate the effects of cocaine. However, the specific receptors underlying this phenomenon have not been identified. To evaluate the role of the 5-HT1B receptor in mediating the actions of cocaine, we used two model systems: knockout (KO) mice lacking the 5-HT1B receptor and an acute treatment with the 5-HT1B/1D antagonist GR127935. GR127935 attenuated the ability of cocaine to stimulate locomotion and induce c-fos expression in the striatum. However, GR127935 had no apparent effect on the rewarding or sensitizing effects of cocaine. In contrast, as demonstrated previously, the 5-HT1B receptor KO mice showed a heightened locomotor response to cocaine, as well as an increased propensity to self-administer cocaine. Thus, an acute pharmacological blockade of the 5-HT1B receptor decreases some effects of cocaine, while a constitutive genetic KO of the same receptor has opposite effects. These results suggest that compensatory changes have taken place during the development of the 5-HT1B KO mice, which may have rendered these mice more vulnerable to cocaine. The 5-HT1B KO mice should therefore be considered as a genetic model of vulnerability to drug abuse rather than a classic pharmacological tool.