Discriminative stimulus produced by the imidazoline I2 site ligand, 2 -BFI

J Psychopharmacol. 1996 Jan;10(4):273-8. doi: 10.1177/026988119601000403.


2-(2-Benzofuranyl)-2-imidazoline, RX801077 (2-BFI) which has high affinity for imidazoline I(2) binding sites and very low aflinity for α(2)-adrenoceptors, has been investigated for its ability to produce a discriminative stimulus (cue) in drug-discrimination studies in rats since the existence of such a cue could assist in determining the functionality of I(2) sites. All rats subjected to training proved able to discriminate the training dose of 2-BFI (33 μmol/kg i.p) from saline vehicle and lower (5-14 μmol/kg) doses exhibited dose-dependent substitution. The mixed α(2)-adrenoceptor/I( 2) site ligand idazoxan fully substituted at 40μmol/kg. However, ethoxy idazoxan (11 μmol/kg) and fluparoxan (13 μmol/kg), selective α( 2)-adrenoceptor antagonists, also fully substituted for 2- BFI as did the monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors moclobemide (99 μmol/kg) and pargyline (153 μmol/kg). A lower dose of moclobemide (16 μmol/kg) exhibited partial substitution. The α( 2)-adrenoceptor agonists clonidine (0.1 μmol/kg) and guanabenz (1.4 μmol/kg), and the benzodiazepine diazepam (14 μmol/kg), failed to substitute for 2-BFI indicating cue specificity. However, 2-BFI (14-50 μmol/kg) substituted partially but dose-dependently for clonidine (0.1 μmol/kg) in rats trained to distinguish the latter from saline. Changes in rates of response were independent of the degree of substitution. The observed pattern of drug substitution is consistent with the previously reported ability of 2-BFI to decrease MAO activity and thus increase extracellular monoamines.