Stimulus properties of antidepressants in the rat

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1980 Feb;67(2):111-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00431964.


Various doses of bupropion HCl (Wellbatrin) (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg), a new phenylaminoketone antidepressant, were employed as cues in a two-lever operant discrimination from saline control injections in rats on an FR10 schedule of food reinforcement. Subjects reached and maintained a high level of discrimination in the O vs 20 mg/kg bupropion stimulus condition but not at the lower doses. In generalization testing, the following compounds produced dose-related responding on the bupropion lever: viloxazine, nomifensine, caffeine, d-amphetamine, cocaine, methylphenidate, and benzylpiperazine. Drugs that failed to show dose-related generalization included phenethylamine, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, imipramine, nortriptyline, amitriptyline, desipramine, mianserin, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, scopolamine, phenobarbital, and morphine. With the important exception of viloxazine, the generalization profile of bupropion seems to reflect its previously reported locomotor stimulant effects in the rat rather than its antidepressant activity and suggests that species differences exist between man and rat with regard to the pharmacologic activity of this new antidepressant.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacology
  • Bupropion
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*
  • Cues
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Generalization, Psychological / drug effects
  • Male
  • Propiophenones / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Propiophenones
  • Bupropion