Differential involvement of the norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine reuptake transporter proteins in cocaine-induced taste aversion

Jermaine D. Jones, F. Scott Hall, George R. Uhl, Kenner Rice, Anthony L. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Despite the impact of cocaine's aversive effects on its abuse potential, the neurochemical basis of these aversive effects remains poorly understood. By blocking the reuptake of the monoamine neurotransmitters dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT) into the presynaptic terminal, cocaine acts as a potent indirect agonist of each of these systems. The following studies attempted to assess the extent of monoaminergic mediation of cocaine's aversive effects using conditioned taste aversion (CTA) learning [Garcia, J., Kimeldorf, D.J., Koelling, R.A., Conditioned aversion to saccharin resulting from exposure to gamma radiation. Science 1955;122:157-158.]. Specifically, Experiment 1 assessed the ability of selective monoamine transporter inhibitors, e.g., DAT (vanoxerine), NET (nisoxetine) and SERT (fluoxetine), to induce taste aversions (relative to cocaine). Only the NET inhibitor approximated the aversive strength of cocaine. Experiment 2 compared the effects of pretreatment of each of these transport inhibitors on the development of a cocaine-induced CTA. Pretreatment with nisoxetine and fluoxetine both attenuated cocaine-induced aversions in a manner comparable to that produced by cocaine itself. The DAT inhibitor was without effect. Combined, the results of these investigations indicate little or no involvement of dopaminergic systems in cocaine's aversive effects while NE appears to contribute most substantially, with a possible modulatory involvement by serotonin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cocaine
  • Dopamine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Monoamine-transporter
  • Nisoxetine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Preexposure
  • Serotonin
  • Taste-aversion
  • Vanoxerine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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