A comparison of drug-seeking behavior maintained by D-amphetamine, L-deprenyl (selegiline), and D-deprenyl under a second-order schedule in squirrel monkeys

Sevil Yasar, József Gaál, Leigh V. Panlilio, Zuzana Justinova, Szecsö V. Molnár, Godfrey H. Redhi, Charles W. Schindler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


L-Deprenyl (selegiline) is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and has been proposed as an aid for cigarette smoking cessation and a treatment for psychostimulant abuse. L-Deprenyl is metabolized in the body to L-methamphetamine and L-amphetamine, suggesting that it may have abuse potential. The current study assessed whether L-deprenyl or its isomer would maintain drug-seeking behavior on a second-order schedule and whether L-deprenyl would alter drug-seeking behavior maintained by D-amphetamine if given as a pretreatment. Squirrel monkeys learned to respond on a second-order schedule of reinforcement, where every tenth response was followed by a brief light flash, and the first brief light flash after 30 min was paired with intravenous (i.v.) injection of D-amphetamine (0.56 mg/kg), administered over a 2-min period at the end of the session. When responding was stable, saline or different i.v. doses of D-amphetamine (0.3-1.0 mg/kg), L-deprenyl (0.1-10.0 mg/kg), and D-deprenyl (0.1-3.0 mg/kg) were substituted for 10 days each. Subsequently, monkeys were pretreated with 0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg L-deprenyl intramuscularly 30 min prior to D-amphetamine baseline sessions. D-Amphetamine maintained high rates of drug-seeking behavior on the second-order schedule. D-Deprenyl maintained high rates of drug-seeking behavior similar to D-amphetamine. L-Deprenyl maintained lower rates of responding that were not significantly above saline substitution levels. Pretreatment with L-deprenyl failed to alter drug-seeking behavior maintained by D-amphetamine. These results indicate that D-deprenyl, but not L-deprenyl, may have abuse potential. Under conditions where drug-seeking and drug-taking behaviors are actively maintained by D-amphetamine, L-deprenyl, at doses that specifically inhibit type B monoamine oxidase, may not be effective as a treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-421
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006



  • Amphetamine
  • Deprenyl
  • Drug self-administration
  • Second-order schedule
  • Selegiline
  • Squirrel monkeys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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