Cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of heroin in squirrel monkeys: role of active metabolites and opioid receptor mechanisms
Rowlett JK, Spealman RD, Platt DM
Harvard Medical School,
New England Regional Primate Research Center,
MA 01772, USA.
Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2000 Jun; 150(2):191-9


RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Opioid agonists frequently have been reported to share discriminative stimulus (DS) effects with cocaine; however, the pharmacological basis of these shared effects is not understood completely. The present study assessed the ability of heroin and its deacetylated metabolites, 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) and morphine, to engender cocaine-like DS effects and investigated the role of opioid receptor subtypes in modulating these DS effects. METHODS: Squirrel monkeys were trained to discriminate 0.3 mg/kg cocaine (i.m.) from vehicle under a 10-response fixed-ratio schedule of food reinforcement, and responding on the drug lever was assessed after varying i.m. doses of heroin, 6-MAM, and morphine. The potential role of opioid receptor mechanisms in modulating the cocaine-like DS effects of heroin and its metabolites was assessed with the mixed mu/kappa opioid antagonist naltrexone, the delta-selective antagonist naltrindole, and the kappa-selective antagonist nor-binaltorphimine. RESULTS: Heroin, 6-MAM, and morphine engendered dose-related increases in responding on the cocaine lever in three of four monkeys. Naltrexone shifted the dose-response functions for heroin and its metabolites to the right, and in vivo apparent pA2 analyses revealed that naltrexone antagonized the effects of the opioids in a manner consistent with mu receptor antagonism (apparent pA2 values ranging from 8.20 to 8.47). Naltrindole only minimally altered the dose-response functions of heroin, 6-MAM, and morphine, whereas nor-binaltorphimine did not block the cocaine-like DS effects of the three opioid agonists, suggesting that neither delta nor kappa receptors played a prominent role in the cocaine-like DS effects of heroin and its metabolites. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that heroin and its deacetylated metabolites engendered cocaine-like DS effects in a similar fashion. Furthermore, the cocaine-like DS effects of these opioids were modulated by a predominantly mu-opioid receptor mechanism.
Heroin Inc
Poppy tea
Dutch heroin
Opiated frogs
Opiated crickets
Heroin in Vienna
Heroin v morphine
Heroin and nitric oxide
The extended amygdala
Heroin, GABAA and the NAcc
Baclofen, dopamine and heroin
Methadone, morphine and heroin
Dosage, route of administration and withdrawal

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family