Relapse to cocaine dependence, even after extended abstinence, involves a number of liability factors including impulsivity (predisposition toward rapid, unplanned reactions to stimuli without regard to negative consequences) and cue reactivity (sensitivity to cues associated with cocaine-taking which can promote cocaine-seeking). These factors have been mechanistically linked to serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) signaling through the 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) and 5-HT2CR; either a selective 5-HT 2AR antagonist or a 5-HT2CR agonist suppresses impulsivity and cocaine-seeking in preclinical models. We conducted proof-of-concept analyses to evaluate whether a combination of 5-HT2AR antagonist plus 5-HT2CR agonist would have synergistic effects over these liability factors for relapse as measured in a 1-choice serial reaction time task and cocaine self-administration/reinstatement assay. Combined administration of a dose of the selective 5-HT2AR antagonist M100907 plus the 5-HT 2CR agonist WAY163909, each ineffective alone, synergistically suppressed cocaine-induced hyperactivity, inherent and cocaine-evoked impulsive action, as well as cue- and cocaine-primed reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. The identification of synergism between a 5-HT2AR antagonist plus a 5-HT2CR agonist to attenuate these factors important in relapse indicates the promise of a bifunctional ligand as an anti-addiction pharmacotherapeutic, setting the stage to develop new ligands with improved efficacy, potency, selectivity, and in vivo profiles over the individual molecules.
- 1-Choice serial reaction time task
- 5-HT receptor, 5-HT receptor
- cue reactivity
- impulsivity, self-administration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cell Biology