The D3 receptor antagonist SR 21502 reduces cue-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking in rats

Robert Ranaldi, Patrick Timken, Daleya Parasram, Tasmia Ali, Sixue Zhang, Omar Moukha-Chafiq, Corinne Augelli-Szafran, John M. Streicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is as of yet no FDA-approved medication for methamphetamine use disorder. Although dopamine D3 receptor antagonists have been shown to be useful in reducing methamphetamine seeking in animal models their translation to the clinic has been hindered because currently tested compounds can produce dangerously high blood pressure. Thus, it is important to continue to explore other classes of D3 antagonists. We report here the effects of SR 21502, a selective D3 receptor antagonist, on cue-induced reinstatement (i.e., relapse) of methamphetamine-seeking in rats. In Experiment 1, rats were trained to self-administer methamphetamine under a fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement followed by extinction of the response. Then, animals were tested with one of several doses of SR 21502 on cue-induced reinstatement of responding. SR 21502 significantly reduced cue-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking. In Experiment 2, animals were trained to lever press for food under a PR schedule and tested with the lowest dose of SR 21502 that caused a significant reduction in Experiment 1. These animals responded on average 8 times more than the vehicle-treated rats in Experiment 1, eliminating the possibility that SR 21502-treated rats in Experiment 1 responded less because they were incapacitated. In summary, these data suggest that SR 21502 may selectively inhibit methamphetamine-seeking and may constitute a promising pharmacotherapeutic agent for methamphetamine or other drug use disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137237
JournalNeuroscience Letters
StatePublished - May 29 2023


  • Dopamine receptors
  • Psychostimulants
  • Relapse
  • Substance use disorder
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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