Evaluation of the role of norepinephrine in the reinforcing effects of psychomotor stimulants in rhesus monkeys

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1987 Apr;26(4):835-9. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(87)90618-6.


Rhesus monkeys were surgically prepared with intravenous catheters and allowed to self-administer cocaine (0.03-0.1 mg/kg/injection) under a fixed-ratio 10 schedule of drug delivery during daily 2-hour experimental sessions. When responding was stable for cocaine, saline or various doses of nisoxetine, a selective norepinephrine (NE) reuptake blocker, was substituted for cocaine for 5-7 consecutive sessions. Nisoxetine failed to maintain self-administration responding at any dose in 3 of 4 monkeys tested. Pre-session administration of the selective alpha 1 NE receptor blocker prazosin (0.2-1.6 mg/kg, IV, 15 minutes pre-session) did not systematically alter cocaine self-administration in any monkey. The results are in contrast to what has been found with DA agonists and antagonists and are consistent with the belief that NE does not play a primary role in the reinforcing properties of psychomotor stimulants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cocaine / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / administration & dosage
  • Fluoxetine / analogs & derivatives
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Norepinephrine / physiology*
  • Prazosin / pharmacology
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Self Administration


  • Fluoxetine
  • nisoxetine
  • Cocaine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Prazosin