MDMA-like behavioral effects of N-substituted
piperazines in the mouse

Yarosh HL, Katz EB, Coop A, Fantegrossi WE.
Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program,
Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2007 Jul 6;


Few studies have characterized the subjective effects of N-substituted piperazines, but these drugs show potential for abuse in humans, and have often been associated with MDMA ("ecstasy") in this regard. The aim of the present study was to test the capacity of N-substituted piperazines to induce a head twitch response, alter locomotor activity, and induce MDMA-like discriminative stimulus effects in mice. Various doses of l-benzylpiperazine (BZP), 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl) piperazine (TFMPP), 1-(3-methoxybenzyl) piperazine (m-MeO-BZP) or meta-chlorophenyl piperazine (m-CPP) were administered to mice to determine the effects on these behavioral endpoints. BZP, but not its meta-methoxyl analogue, increased locomotor activity in a dose-dependent manner; the phenylpiperazines and m-MeO-BZP only decreased locomotor activity. TFMPP was the only compound active in the head twitch assay, eliciting a moderate head twitch response which was comparable to that previously observed with the MDMA enantiomers. BZP, TFMPP and m-CPP fully substituted in S(+)-MDMA-trained animals, but did not elicit significant drug lever responding in mice trained to discriminate R(-)-MDMA. m-MeO-BZP partially substituted for both training drugs. The present results suggest that BZP has stimulant-like effects, and that TFMPP has hallucinogen-like effects. Their structural analogues, however, do not share these behavioral profiles. Further studies into the relationships between the N-substituted piperazines and MDMA are warranted.
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