Acquisition of oral phencyclidine (PCP) self-administration in rhesus monkeys: Effects of dose and an alternative non-drug reinforcer

Una C. Campbell, Sherry S. Thompson, Marilyn E Carroll

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24 Scopus citations


The effects of drug dose and a non-drug alternative reinforcer on acquisition of oral PCP self-administration in rhesus monkeys were examined. Acquisition was studied using three groups of monkeys (seven subjects per group). One group received a low PCP dose (0.0375 mg/delivery) and the other two received a high PCP dose (0.15 mg/delivery). One of the high dose groups had concurrent access to a saccharin solution (0.03% w/v) and water during the intersession (17.5-h) period. Food non-restricted monkeys were initially given access to water under a fixed-ratio (FR) 1 schedule during daily 3-h sessions. Water was then replaced with PCP during the session. The monkeys were then reduced to 85% of their free-feeding body weights and fed before the session, and the FR value was increased from 1 to 2, 4 and 8. Subsequently, food was given post-session and water and PCP were available under concurrent FR 8 schedules. At this final step of the procedure, acquisition of PCP self-administration was considered to occur if PCP intake consistently exceeded water intake. When all three groups were given concurrent access to PCP and water, PCP intake was greater than water intake only in the group of monkeys receiving the high PCP dose. PCP intake increased when water replaced saccharin during intersession in the high PCP dose group. Within-group data revealed that 85.7% of monkeys acquired PCP reinforcement in the group given access to the high PCP dose while only 42.8% acquired in the other two groups. These data suggest that drug dose and presence of alternative non-drug reinforcers affect acquisition of drug self administration in non-human primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Acquisition
  • Alternative reinforcer
  • Dose
  • Drug self-administration
  • Oral phencyclidine
  • PCP
  • Rhesus monkey
  • Saccharin


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