Sub-chronic low dose γ-vinyl GABA (vigabatrin) inhibits cocaine-induced increases in nucleus accumbens dopamine

Wynne K. Schiffer, Douglas Marsteller, Stephen L. Dewey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Rationale: γ-Vinyl GABA (GVG) irreversibly inhibits GABA-transaminase. This non-receptor mediated inhibition requires de novo synthesis for restoration of functional GABA catabolism. Objectives: Given its preclinical success for treating substance abuse and the increased risk of visual field defects (VFD) associated with cumulative lifetime exposure, we explored the effects of sub-chronic low dose GVG on cocaine-induced increases in nucleus accumbens (NAcc) dopamine (DA). Methods: Using in vivo microdialysis, we compared acute exposure (450 mg/kg) to an identical sub-chronic exposure (150 mg/kg per day for 3 days), followed by 1- or 3-day washout. Finally, we examined the low dose of 150 mg/kg (50 mg/kg per day) using a similar washout period. Results: Sub-chronic GVG exposure inhibited the effect of cocaine for 3 days, which exceeded in magnitude and duration the identical acute dose. Conclusions: Subchronic low dose GVG potentiates and extends the inhibition of cocaine-induced increases in dopamine, effectively reducing cumulative exposures and the risk for VFDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-343
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors acknowledge funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA15041 and F31-DA15874) and the US Department of Energy (USDOE/OBER DE-AC02-98CH10886).


  • Addiction
  • GABA
  • Microdialysis
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Vigabatrin


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