Characterization of the bupropion cue in the rat: lack of evidence for a dopaminergic mechanism

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1985;85(2):173-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00428409.


Using a two-lever operant task rats were trained to discriminate 40 mg/kg IP of bupropion from saline. Despite bupropion's established dopaminergic activity in vitro and in vivo, it was found that the bupropion cue was neither mimicked by the dopaminergic drugs L-DOPA and bromocriptine nor blocked by a variety of neuroleptics (haloperidol, thioridazine, and thiothixene). In addition, bupropion was active in attenuating the behavior-suppressing effects of haloperidol, unlike amphetamine and the atypical antidepressants, nomifensine and viloxazine. The bupropion cue was not mimicked or disrupted by adrenergic or serotonergic drugs, but it did generalize to some stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine and caffeine) as well as to nomifensine and viloxazine. The generalizations were blocked by neuroleptics. These data indicate that bupropion's cue properties may not be based on its ability to modulate dopaminergic receptor activity. The possible involvement of phenylethylamine in the bupropion cue is also discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Bromocriptine / pharmacology
  • Bupropion
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology
  • Cues
  • Generalization, Stimulus
  • Levodopa / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Nomifensine / pharmacology
  • Propiophenones / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Propiophenones / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects*
  • Viloxazine / pharmacology


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Propiophenones
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Bupropion
  • Nomifensine
  • Bromocriptine
  • Levodopa
  • Viloxazine