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REVIEW: Behavioral evidence for the significance of serotoninergic (5-HT) receptors in cocaine addiction


Małgorzata Filip, Laboratory of Drug Addiction Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-343 Kraków, 12 Smętna, Poland. E-mail:


Cocaine addiction has somatic, psychological, psychiatric, socio-economic and legal implications in the developed world. Presently, there is no medication approved for the treatment of cocaine addiction. In recent years, data from the literature (pre-clinical studies and clinical trials) have provided several lines of evidence that serotonin (5-HT) and 5-HT receptors play a modulatory role in the mechanisms of action of cocaine. Here we review the contribution of 5-HT receptor subtypes to cocaine sensitization, discrimination, conditioned place preference, self-administration, reinstatement of seeking behavior and withdrawal symptoms in laboratory animals. Additionally, the consequences of chronic cocaine exposure on particular 5-HT receptor-assigned functions in pre-clinical studies are presented.