The purpose of the present study was to determine the acute effects of the β-carboline norharman on cocaine dependence. Male Wistar rats were allowed to self-administer cocaine for 3 h for seven sessions. A single injection of norharman (0.2-20 mg/kg, i.p.) was given 30 min before the onset of the seventh session. It was shown that norharman decreased the cocaine intake in a U-shaped manner with the dose of 10 mg/kg having the most potent effect. These results indicate that several receptor mechanisms mediate the effects of norharman. In addition, 15 min following the administration of norharman on session 7, motor and sensory skill tests were performed. Six naïve animals were tested with the dose, which has the most pronounced effect on cocaine self-administration intake, in order to examine whether the observed effects were due to norharman or due to the combination of norharman and cocaine. It was observed that norharman in both the naïve and cocaine-exposed animals significantly increased the response time in the somato-sensory orienting test. However, only in the naïve animals a significant effect of norharman on the grasp reflex was observed. Copyright

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European Neuropsychopharmacology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Cappendijk, S.L.T, Fekkes, D, van Dalen, A, & Pepplinkhuizen, L. (2001). The acute effects of norharman on cocaine self-administration and sensorimotor function in male Wistar rats. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 11(3), 233–239. doi:10.1016/S0924-977X(01)00090-6