Effects of phentermine on responding maintained by progressive-ratio schedules of cocaine and food delivery in rhesus monkeys

by Stafford D, LeSage MG, Glowa JR
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics,
Louisiana State University Medical Center,
Shreveport 71130-3932, USA.
Behav Pharmacol 1999 Dec; 10(8):775-84


Previous reports indicate that intravenous pretreatment with phentermine can decrease cocaine-maintained responding without affecting food-reinforced responding under fixed-ratio schedules. The present experiments were designed to explore the generality of this effect using progressive-ratio schedules of reinforcement and different routes of phentermine administration. Unit doses of cocaine and food-pellet magnitudes were identified that maintained similar breaking points, and the effects of acute exposure to phentermine were assessed. In Experiment 1, a ‘conventional’ (one-trial) progressive-ratio schedule was used, in which response requirements increased after each reinforcer delivery; in Experiment 2, a ‘modified’ (five-trial) progressive-ratio schedule was used, in which response requirements increased after every five reinforcer deliveries. In one group of monkeys, responding was maintained by food; in another, cocaine infusions maintained responding. Phentermine (0.1-5.6mg/kg, intramuscularly (i.m.)) dose-dependently decreased breakpoints on both progressive-ratio schedules. There were no differences in phentermine’s effects on cocaine- and food-maintained behavior. In Experiment 3, intravenous administration of phentermine had largely similar effects. Taken together with results from previous reports, these data suggest that the effects of phentermine pretreatment are influenced by the behavioral procedure used to maintain responding and/or by the efficacy of the food and cocaine reinforcers.