The serotonin 2C receptor antagonist SB 242084 exhibits abuse-related effects typical of stimulants in squirrel monkeys

Daniel F. Manvich, Heather L. Kimmel, Debra A. Cooper, Leonard L. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Antagonists of the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) type 2C receptor (5-HT2CR) are being considered as potential pharmacotherapeutics for various affective disorders, but evidence suggests that these compounds enhance the effects of cocaine and related psychostimulants in rodents. However, the effects of selective 5-HT2CR antagonists have not been evaluated in nonhuman primates. The present studies used operant-behavioral and in vivo microdialysis techniques to assess the impact of 5-HT2CR antagonism on the behavioral and neurochemical effects of cocaine in squirrel monkeys. In subjects trained to lever-press on a fixed-interval schedule of stimulus termination, pretreatment with the highly selective 5-HT2CR antagonist 6-chloro-2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-N-[6-[(2-methyl-3-pyridinyl) oxy]-3-pyridinyl]-1H-indole-1-carboxyamide dihydrochloride (SB 242084) (vehicle, 0.01-0.1 mg/kg) produced behavioral-stimulant effects alone and interacted with cocaine in an apparently additive manner. In monkeys trained to self-administer intravenous cocaine according to a second-order schedule of drug delivery, SB 242084 (vehicle, 0.03- 0.1 mg/kg) modulated cocaine-induced reinstatement of previously extinguished responding and maintained selfadministration behavior when substituted for cocaine availability. These studies are the first to assess the direct reinforcing effects of a 5-HT2CR-selective antagonist in any species. Finally, in vivo microdialysis studies revealed that pretreatment with SB 242084 (0.1 mg/kg) modulated cocaine-induced dopamine increases within the nucleus accumbens, but not the caudate nucleus, of awake subjects. Taken together, the results suggest that SB 242084 exhibits a behavioral profile that is qualitatively similar to other psychostimulants, although its efficacy is modest compared with cocaine. The observed interactions with cocaine and the substitution for cocaine self-administration may be indicative of some degree of abuse potential in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-769
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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