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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

The Reality of Primate Experimentation in the United States:
Lies, Greed, and Insanity

By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.

Appendix C - Johns Hopkins University Addiction Experiments

1: Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2006 Nov;189(1):71-82. Epub 2006 Sep 20.

Chronic intragastric administration of gamma-butyrolactone produces physical dependence in baboons.

Goodwin AK, Griffiths RR, Brown PR, Froestl W, Jakobs C, Gibson KM, Weerts EM.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

RATIONALE: Abuse of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its precursors is a public health concern. Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) is found in commercially available products and, when ingested, is metabolized to GHB. OBJECTIVE: The goal was to evaluate the physical dependence potential and behavioral effects of GBL. METHODS: Vehicle and then GBL were administered continuously (24 h per da y) in baboons (Papio anubis, n=5) via intragastric catheters. GBL dosing was initiated at 100 mg/kg/day and then progressively increased stepwise by increments of 100 mg/kg to a final dose of 600 mg/kg. The number of food pellets earned, fine-motor task performance, and observed behaviors were used as dependent measures. Precipitated withdrawal was evaluated after administration of GABA-B and benzodiazepine receptor antagonists during chronic GBL dosing (400-600 mg/kg). Spontaneous withdrawal was evaluated after discontinuation of chronic GBL 600 mg/kg. Blood GHB levels were determined during chronic dosing of each GBL dose by isotope dilution assay. RESULTS: Chronic GBL dose-dependently decreased food-maintained behavior, disrupted performance on the fine-motor task, and produced signs of sedation and muscle relaxation. The GABA-B antagonist SGS742 [56 mg/kg, intramuscular (IM)] precipitated a withdrawal syndrome, whereas the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil (5 mg/kg, IM) produced little or no effect. Signs of physical dependence were also demonstrated when chronic GBL dosing was discontinued. Analysis of plasma indicated GBL was metabolized to GHB; levels were 825 to 1,690 micromol l(-1) GHB and 2,430 to 3,785 micromol l(-1) GHB after week 1 of 400 and 600 mg/kg/day, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that, like GHB, chronic GBL dosing produced physical dependence that likely involved the GABA-B receptor.

PMID: 17047936 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1: Eur J Pharmacol. 2005 Sep 5;519(1-2):103-13.

Comparison of the behavioral effects of bretazenil and flumazenil in triazolam-dependent and non-dependent baboons.

Weerts EM, Ator NA, Kaminski BJ, Griffiths RR.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, MD 21224, USA. eweerts@jhmi.edu

Behavioral effects of the benzodiazepine receptor partial agonist bretazenil were compared with those of the benzodiazepine receptor antagonist flumazenil under conditions in which three baboons received continuous intragastric (i.g.) infusion of vehicle and then continuous i.g. infusion of triazolam (1.0 mg/kg/day). In each condition, acute doses of flumazenil (0.01-3.2 mg/kg) and bretazenil (0.01-10.0 mg/kg) were administered every 2 weeks (beginning after 30 days of treatment in the triazolam-dependent condition). Food pellets were available during daily 20-h sessions. Following test injections, 60-min behavioral observations were conducted followed by a fine motor assessment. During chronic vehicle administration, neither drug produced changes in observed behaviors. Bretazenil increased pellets earned and time to complete the fine-motor task (10.0 mg/kg dose). During chronic triazolam dosing, both bretazenil and flumazenil precipitated benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes, characterized by vomiting, tremors/jerks, and a decrease in pellets earned. Thus, bretazenil can function as an antagonist under conditions of benzodiazepine physical dependence.

1: Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Jul;180(2):342-51. Epub 2005 Mar 1.

Involvement of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and GABA-B receptors in the acute behavioral effects of GHB in baboons.

Goodwin AK, Froestl W, Weerts EM.

Johns Hopkins Bayview, Behavioral Biology Research Center, 5510 Nathan Shock Dr., Suite 3000, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

RATIONALE: Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is used for the treatment of narcolepsy, but it is also a drug of abuse. The behavioral pharmacology of GHB is not well defined. OBJECTIVES: The current study was conducted to characterize the behavioral effects of a range of GHB doses in baboons (N=4) and to evaluate whether a GABA-B receptor antagonist and a GHB receptor antagonist would block a behaviorally active dose of GHB. METHODS: In the first experiment, GHB (32-420 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered via an intragastric catheter. Sixty min after dosing, subjects were presented with a fine-motor task and observed. Food pellets were available under a fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement 20-h/day. In the second experiment, the GABA-B antagonist CGP36742 (10-56 mg/kg), the putative GHB antagonist NCS-382 (0.1-10 mg/kg), or vehicle were administered alone and then in combination with GHB (320 mg/kg). RESULTS: GHB dose-dependently decreased the number of food pellets earned. Performance in the motor task was also impaired and accompanied by signs of sedation and gastrointestinal discomfort. Pretreatment with CGP36742 antagonized GHB-induced suppression of food-maintained behavior and performance on the fine-motor task. Signs of abdominal discomfort, ataxia, and muscle relaxation produced by GHB were also reduced by pretreatment with CGP36742. In contrast, pretreatment with NCS-382 sometimes restored performance in the fine-motor task and increased food-maintained behavior, but the effect was variable across doses and baboons. Some doses of NCS-382 appeared to exacerbate ataxia and gastrointestinal discomfort produced by GHB in some subjects. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that while GABA-B receptors play a significant role in mediating the behavioral effects of GHB in baboon, the role of GHB receptors is less clear.

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 May;179(3):678-87. Epub 2005 Jan 12.

Spontaneous and precipitated withdrawal after chronic intragastric administration of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in baboons.

Weerts EM, Goodwin AK, Griffiths RR, Brown PR, Froestl W, Jakobs C, Gibson KM.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. eweerts@jhmi.edu

RATIONALE: gamma-Hydroxybuyrate (GHB) is a current drug of abuse that may produce physical dependence. OBJECTIVES: The present study characterized the behavioral effects of chronic GHB in baboons (n = 4), and evaluated whether signs of withdrawal occurred (1) after administration of the GABA-B antagonist CGP36742 during chronic GHB administration (precipitated withdrawal) and (2) following discontinuation of chronic GHB administration (spontaneous withdrawal). METHODS: Water (vehicle) and then GHB was continuously infused via intragastric (IG) catheters. GHB administration was initiated at 350 mg/kg per day, and the dose was increased by 100 mg/kg over 4 days to 750 mg/kg per day. Food pellets were available 20 h/day under a fixed ratio (FR5 or 10) schedule of reinforcement. Observation sessions and a 2-min fine motor task were conducted during vehicle and GHB administration. CGP36742 (32 and 56 mg/kg, IM) was administered during vehicle and chronic GHB administration. After a total of 32-36 days GHB administration was abruptly discontinued. Blood samples were collected during all interventions and analyzed for GHB content. RESULTS: Chronic GHB decreased food-maintained behavior, disrupted performance of the fine motor task, and produced ataxia, muscle relaxation, tremors and jerks. At the end of GHB administration, plasma levels of GHB ranged from 486 to 2080 micromol/L. Administration of CGP36742 during chronic GHB administration produced increases in aggression, self-directed behaviors, vomit/retch, tremors and/or jerks, which is consistent with a precipitated withdrawal syndrome. Similar signs were observed when GHB administration was discontinued. Seizures were not observed. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that chronic GHB administration produced physical dependence and that activation of the GABA-B receptor may be important for GHB physical dependence.

Behav Pharmacol. 2003 Jul;14(4):331-42.

Physical dependence in baboons chronically treated with low and high doses of diazepam.

Kaminski BJ, Sannerud CA, Weerts EM, Lamb RJ, Griffiths RR.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224-6823, USA. bkamins1@jhmi.edu

Physical dependence on diazepam was evaluated in male baboons chronically treated with either low or high doses of diazepam. Baboons received either a single oral daily administration of a low dose (0.5 mg/kg per day) of diazepam (n=4) or continuous intragastric infusion of a high dose (20 mg/kg per day) of diazepam (n=7). Development of physical dependence during chronic dosing with 0.5 mg/kg per day diazepam was assessed at 2 and 4 weeks and then monthly, during 1-h behavioral observations, following injections of the benzodiazepine competitive antagonist flumazenil. After 3-24 months of diazepam treatment, dosing was discontinued and physical dependence assessed via observation and responding for food pellets. In baboons that received 0.5 mg/kg per day diazepam, flumazenil precipitated a mild- to intermediate-intensity benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, which included decreases in the number of food pellets earned per day and increases in withdrawal postures, self-directed behaviors, aggressive behaviors and retching/vomiting. Three of four baboons showed signs of precipitated withdrawal after only 2 weeks of chronic low-dose treatment. Flumazenil continued to precipitate withdrawal signs, but with no systematic increase in severity, throughout the 6-10 months of 0.5 mg/kg diazepam administration. When 0.5 mg/kg per day diazepam dosing was discontinued, the number of food pellets earned per day decreased in two of the four baboons, but no systematic changes in behavioral signs were observed. In contrast, within 7-10 days of termination of 20 mg/kg per day diazepam dosing, withdrawal signs of intermediate intensity and a decrease in the number of food pellets earned per day occurred in all baboons. In the present study, physical dependence developed after 2 weeks of a chronic low dose of diazepam administration but did not increase further over long-term exposure to diazepam.

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