Baboons in Drug Abuse Research
Baboons and other nonhuman primates have come to play an increasingly important role over the past 30 years as experimental
subjects in the area of drug abuse research due to their extensive physiological, anatomical, and behavioral similarities
to humans. Compared with other Old World monkeys, the relatively large size of baboons originally made them ideal subjects
for drug self-administration and chronic intragastric drug administration studies requiring indwelling catheters. Such studies
resulted in the seminal finding of a high concordance between those psychoactive drugs that are self-administered by baboons
and those that are abused by humans (Brady et al., 1987, 1990).
Available from: Jörg Hanrieder
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ABSTRACT: Capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry has been used to determine the in vivo concentrations of the neuroactive drug, methylphenidate, and a metabolite in the heads of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. These concentrations, evaluated at the site of action, the brain, have been correlated with orally administrated methylphenidate. Drosophila melanogaster has a relatively simple nervous system but possesses high order brain functions similar to humans; thus it has been used as a common model system in biological and genetics research. Methylphenidate has been used to mediate cocaine addiction due to its lower pharmacokinetics, which results in fewer addictive and reinforcing effects than cocaine. The effects of the drug on the nervous system, however, have not been fully understood. In addition to measurements of drug concentration, the method has been used to examine drug dose dependence on the levels of several primary biogenic amines. Higher in vivo concentration of methylphenidate is observed with increasing feeding doses up to 25 mM methylphenidate. Furthermore, administrated methylphenidate increases the drug metabolism activity and the neurotransmitter levels; however, this increase appears to saturate at a feeding dose of 20 mM. The method developed for the fruit fly provides a new tool to evaluate the concentration of administered drug at the site of action and provides information concerning the effect of methylphenidate on the nervous system.
Available from: Catherine M Davis
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The human Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) is commonly utilized as an objective risk assessment tool to quantify fatigue and sustained attention in laboratory, clinical, and operational settings.
Recent studies have employed a rodent version of the PVT (rPVT) to measure various aspects of attention (lapses in attention, reaction times) under varying experimental conditions.
Data are presented here to evaluate the short- and long-term utility of the rPVT adapted for laboratory rats designed to track the same types of performance variables as the human PVT—i.e., motor speed, inhibitory control (“impulsivity”), and attention/inattention. Results indicate that the rPVT is readily learned by rats and requires less than two weeks of training to acquire the basic procedure. Additional data are also presented on the effects of radiation exposure on these performance measures that indicate the utility of the procedure for assessing changes in neurobehavioral function in rodents across their lifespans.
Comparison with existing method(s)
Once stable performances are obtained, rats evidence a high degree of similarity to human performance measures, and include similarities in terms of lapses and reaction times, in addition to percent correct and premature responding. Similar to humans, rats display both a vigilance decrement across time on task and a response-stimulus interval effect.
The rPVT is a useful tool in the investigation of the effects of a wide range of variables on vigilance performance that compares favorably to the human PVT and for developing potential prophylactics, countermeasures, and treatments for neurobehavioral dysfunctions.
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