Discriminative stimulus properties of the serotonin agonist MK 212

K. A. Cunningham, P. M. Callahan, J. B. Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


In an attempt to clarify the role of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in the discriminative stimulus properties of MK 212 (6-chloro-2[1-piperazinyl]pyrazine), male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate 0.5 mg/kg of this compound from saline. While the putative 5-HT agonists fenfluramine and m-chlorophenylpiperazine (MCPP) mimicked MK 212 in a dose-related manner, d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 8-hydroxy-2(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OHDPAT), 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeODMT), quipazine, Ru 24969, and 1-(m-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP) failed to substitute completely. The 5-HT1/5-HT2 antagonists BC 105, metergoline, and methysergide completely blocked the MK 212 cue, while the selective 5-HT2 antagonists ketanserin and pirenperone, the dopamine antagonists haloperidol and spiperone, and the beta-noradrenergic antagonist propranolol were without effect. The substitutions of fenfluramine and MCPP for MK 212 support a role for 5-HT in the MK 212 cue; however, the lack of substitution of many other 5-HT agonists is difficult to explain. The complete antagonism by 5-HT1/5-HT2 but not by selective 5-HT2, antagonists suggests the possibility that 5-HT1 receptors mediate the stimulus properties of MK 212. Further research is needed to support this hypothesis and to investigate the relative role of 5-HT and other neurotransmitters in the stimulus effects of MK 212.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-197
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-HT
  • 5-HT
  • 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)
  • Drug discrimination
  • MK 212

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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