Comparison of the behavioral effects of ibogaine from three sources: mediation of discriminative activity

Abstract

Ibogaine is an alkaloid employed for its hallucinatory properties in West Central Africa which has been the subject of alleged efficacy as an aid in the interruption and treatment of chemical dependency. The major sources of the Schedule I agent are: Sigma Chemical Co., the National Institute on Drug Abuse and as NDA International Inc.'s Endabuse. The intent of the present study was to, for the first time, train rats to discriminate the interoceptive stimuli produced by (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally administered) ibogaine. Once trained, these rats were used to investigate the dose-response effects to ibogaine from each of the three suppliers. In addition, stimulus generalization to the dopamine antagonist CGS 10476B, as well as to the serotonergically active compounds fenfluramine, TFMPP (1-(m-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine, DOI (1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane), MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), quipazine and LSD, was tested. The results indicate that ibogaine is readily discriminable from its vehicle and that ibogaine from each of the three supplies produced statistically similar discrimination with ED50 values ranging from 2.5 to 3.4 mg/kg. In addition, various doses of the novel drugs tested produced, at best, intermediate ibogaine-appropriate responding and, thus, no drug tested can be considered to generalize to ibogaine-like stimuli. Discussion concerns the multiple actions of ibogaine that have been cited in the scientific literature. The similarity in potency of ibogaine from three potential suppliers should allow for pre-clinical work using any of these research samples to be comparable.

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