Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


30th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2004

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #11
CE Offered: None

Cocaine, Dopamine Transport Inhibition, and Discovery Research on Medical Treatments for Cocaine Abuse

Saturday, May 29, 2004
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Beacon E
Area: BPH; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Amy Odum, Psy.D.
Chair: Amy Odum (Utah State University)
JONATHAN L. KATZ (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Dr. Jonathan L. Katz received his PhD from the University of Maryland in 1978, studying under Dr. James E. Barrett. Two post-doctoral years followed at Harvard Medical School under the direction of Dr. William H. Morse. Dr. Katz was a Research Investigator in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan Medical School, and joined the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 1984, where he is Acting Chief of the Medications Discovery Research Branch. He also holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Katz is a member of several professional societies, including the Behavioral Pharmacology Society and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Psychopharmacology, and is Editor for Behavioral Pharmacology for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has published extensively, co-holds a patent on cocaine abuse medications, and serves on several professional committees. His current research interests are the pharmacological mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of cocaine, in particular the respective roles of dopamine receptor subtypes, and the role of heterogeneity in dopamine transporter function.

Among the multiple actions of cocaine, evidence has suggested that the inhibition of dopamine uptake is the primary action underlying the behavioral effects of cocaine. This hypothesis indicates that drugs that inhibit the transport of dopamine will have behavioral effects, and abuse liability, similar to cocaine. Despite the evidence supporting the hypothesis, compounds exist that selectively bind to the dopamine transporter with high affinity and inhibit dopamine uptake, but have behavioral effects that differ from those of cocaine. These compounds generally show a decreased efficacy in stimulating locomotor activity, reduced or no efficacy in producing cocaine-like discriminative-stimulus effects, and are marginally effective as reinforcers in primates trained to self administer cocaine. These findings indicate important limitations to the dopamine transporter hypothesis of the behavioral effects of cocaine. Further, the delineation of differences in the pharmacology of various dopamine uptake inhibitors will provide insight into dopamine transporter function, the neurobiological substrates involved in cocaine abuse, and may provide leads for the discovery of medical treatments for cocaine abuse.




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