Background: Methamphetamine-abuse is a worldwide health problem for which no effective therapy is available. Inhibition of methamphetamine-induced transporter-mediated dopamine (DA) release could be a useful approach to treat methamphetamine-addiction. We assessed the potencies of bupropion, methylphenidate, and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) to block DA uptake or to inhibit methamphetamine-induced DA release in HEK-293 cells expressing the human DA transporter.
Findings: Bupropion, methylphenidate, and MDPV inhibited methamphetamine-induced DA release with relative potencies corresponding to their potencies to block DA uptake (potency ranks: MDPV > methylphenidate > bupropion).
Conclusions: Bupropion and methylphenidate antagonize the effects of methamphetamine in vitro and may be potential candidates for the treatment of stimulant addiction. However, drugs that very potently antagonize the effect of methamphetamine are likely to also exhibit considerable abuse liability (MDPV > methylphenidate > bupropion).