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Taffe Lab: Substituted Cathinone Research

structural comparison

Current projects in the laboratory focus on the reinforcing effects of  mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone; 4-MMC), Methylone, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone as well as on newly appearing compounds such as Pentedrone and Pentylone.

Interest in the substituted cathinone [ Search PubMed ] stimulant drugs began in 2009-2010 as the use of 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC; mephedrone) begain to increase in the UK.  Our work was further motivated by the emergence of MDPV as a substantial new or emerging drug of abuse in the US during 2011-2011. As is depicted in the figure, cathinone is amphetamine with a ketone substitution in the beta position. Due to the similarity of structure with substituted amphetamines, the questions naturally evolved as to subjective character: Is 4-MMC more like an MDMA-type entactogen or more like classical stimulants such as amphetamine or methamphetamine? Additional reading can be found in the tlneuro blog cathinone archive.

Cathinone Publications

Javadi-Paydar, M., Nguyen, J.D., Vandewater, S.A., Dickerson, T.J., and Taffe, M.A. Locomotor and Reinforcing Effects Of Pentedrone, Pentylone and Methylone In Rats. Neuropharmacology, in press. [ Publisher Site ]

Nguyen, J.D., Bremer, P.T., Ducime, Creehan, K.M., Kisby, B.R., Taffe, M.A. and Janda, K.D. Active vaccination attenuates the psychostimulant effects of α-PVP and MDPV in rats, Neuropharmacology, 2017, 116:1-8. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Nguyen, J.D., Aarde, S.M., Cole, M.,  Vandewater, S.A., Grant, Y. and Taffe, M.A. Locomotor stimulant and rewarding effects of inhaling methamphetamine, MDPV and mephedrone via electronic cigarette-type technology, Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016, 41:2759-2771. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed]

Nguyen, J.D., Grant, Y., Creehan, K.M., Vandewater, S.A. and Taffe, M.A. Escalation of intravenous self-administration of methylone and mephedrone under extended access conditions., Addict Biol, 2017, 22:1160-1168. [ Publisher Site ] [ PubMed ]

Vandewater, S.A., Creehan, K.M. and Taffe, M.A. Intravenous self-administration of entactogen-class stimulants in male rats. Neuropharmacology, 2015, 99:538-545. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Aarde, S.M., Miller, M.L. Creehan, K.M., Vandewater, S.A. and Taffe, M.A. One day access to a running wheel reduces self-administration of d-methamphetamine, MDMA and Methylone. Drug Alcohol Depend, 2015, 151:151-158. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Aarde, S.M., Creehan, K.M., Vandewater, S.A., Dickerson, T.J. and Taffe, M.A. In vivo potency and efficacy of the novel cathinone α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone: Self-administration and locomotor stimulation in male rats. Psychopharmacology, 2015, 232:3045-3055. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Creehan, K.M., Vandewater, S.A. and Taffe, M.A. Intravenous self-administration of mephedrone, methylone and MDMA in female rats. Neuropharmacology, 2015, 92:90-97. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Aarde, S.M., Huang, P-K, Dickerson, T.J. and Taffe, M.A. Binge-like Acquisition of 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) self-administration and wheel activity in rats. Psychopharmacology, 2015, DOI: 10.1007/s00213-014-3819-4 [Publisher Site; PubMed]

Aarde, S.M., Huang, P-K, Creehan, K.M., Dickerson, T.J. and Taffe, M.A. The novel recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is a potent psychomotor stimulant: self-administration and locomotor activity in rats. Neuropharmacology, 2013, in press [ PubMed ][ Publisher Link ].

Aarde, S.M., Angrish, D., Barlow, D.J., Wright, Jr., M.J., Vandewater, S.A., Creehan, K.M., Houseknecht, K.L., Dickerson, T.J. and Taffe, M.A. Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) supports intravenous self-administration in Sprague-Dawley and Wistar rats. Addict Biol, 2013, in press. [ PubMed ] [ PublisherLink ]

Miller, M.L., Creehan, K.M., Angrish, D., Barlow, D.J., Houseknecht, K.L., Dickerson, T.J. and Taffe, M.A. Changes in ambient temperature differentially alter the thermoregulatory, cardiac and locomotor stimulant effects of 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone), Drug Alcohol Depend, 2013, 127(1-3):248-253 Epub 2012 Jul 23.[ PubMed Abstract ] [ Publisher Link ]

Wright, Jr, M.J., Angrish, D., Aarde, S.M., Barlow, D.J., Buczynski, M.W., Creehan, K.M., Vandewater, S.A., Parsons, L.H., Houseknecht, K.L., Dickerson, T.J. and Taffe, M.A. Effect of ambient temperature on the thermoregulatory and locomotor stimulant effects of 4-methylmethcathinone in Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats, PLoS ONE, 2012, 7(8):e44652. Epub 2012 Aug 31.[ PubMed ][ PublisherLink ]

Wright, Jr, M.J., Vandewater, S.A., Angrish, D., Dickerson, T.J. and Taffe, M.A. Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone, 4MMC) and d-methamphetamine improve visuo-spatial associative memory, but not spatial working memory, in rhesus macaques, British Journal of Pharmacology, 2012, 167(6):1342-1352. [ PubMed Abstract ][ Publisher Link ]

Huang,P.K., Aarde, S.M., Angrish, D., Houseknecht, K.L., Dickerson, T.J. and Taffe, M.A. Contrasting effects of d-methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and 4-methylmethcathinone on wheel activity in rats, Drug Alcohol Depend, 2012, 126(1-2):168-175. [ PubMed Abstract ][ Publisher Link ]

Cathinone research in The Taffe Laboratory is supported by USPHS Grant R01 DA042211. Other psychostimulant research is supported by USPHS Grants and R01 DA024705 and prior support was provided by  R01 DA024105 and R01 DA018418.