Although the mechanism underlying the rewarding effects of cocaine has been well characterized, little is known about the mechanism underlying its aversive effects. Several reports have indicated a possible role of dopamine (DA) in the aversive effects; however, several procedural issues limit any conclusions regarding its specific role. In order to investigate a possible dopaminergic role in cocaine-induced CTAs using procedures that circumvented these possible issues, the present series of investigations assessed the aversive effects of the DA antagonist haloperidol alone (Experiment 1) and in combination with cocaine (Experiment 2). Haloperidol, at doses that were determined to be non-aversive, yet behaviorally active in a locomotor assessment, attenuated cocaine-induced taste aversions, suggesting that cocaine's aversive effects are mediated in part by dopaminergic activity. These findings were discussed in consideration with other evidence implicating DA and other neurotransmitter systems in cocaine-induced CTAs.
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