Effect of (-)-cathinone, a psychoactive alkaloid from khat (Catha edulis Forsk.) and caffeine on sexual behaviour in rats

by Kalix P, Taha SA, Ageel AM, Islam MW, Ginawi OT
Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy,
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Pharmacol Res 1995 May; 31(5):299-303


The effect of (-)-cathinone, caffeine and their combinations was studied on the sexual behaviour of male rats. Male sexual activities were assessed by recording the erectile responses (grooming of genitalis, yawning/stretching and homosexual mounting), in the absence of females. The copulatory behaviour was observed by caging males with receptive females brought into oestrus with s.c. injection of oestradiol benzoate and progesterone. The copulatory pattern of male rats (mounting, intromissions, ejaculations and refractory period) was recorded. The oral treatment of cathinone (5 mg kg-1 day-1), caffeine (50 mg kg-1 day-1) and their combinations for 15 days increased arousal (motivation) in male rats as evidenced by increased mounting performance and anogenital investigatory behaviour. However, erectile and ejaculatory responses, measured in the present study, showed no stimulant effect. It is conceivable from the present results that cathinone, the psychostimulant constituent of khat modified masculine pattern behaviour and caffeine also changed the effect of cathinone when administered concomitantly. However, our data provide no evidence that cathinone could be considered as an aphrodisiac.