Abuse liability of the novel benzofuran 6-APDB




Dolan, Sean B.
Gatch, Michael B.


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Benzofurans, sold online as “benzo-fury,” represent a class of designer drugs that have gained popularity on the ever-expanding market of “legal highs.” Users report that these compounds produce entactogen-like effects similar to MDMA. The current study aims to investigate the behavioral effects and abuse liability of the novel benzofuran 6-APDB. The locomotor effects of 6-APDB were tested in male Swiss-Webster mice over an 8-hour period in an open-field assay of locomotor activity. The discriminative stimulus effects of 6-APDB were tested in separate groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats trained to discriminate cocaine, methamphetamine, or MDMA from vehicle. The rewarding effects of 6-APDB were tested in male Swiss-Webster mice using a conditioned place preference assay. 6-APDB produced locomotor stimulation at 5 and 10 mg/kg starting 30-minutes post-injection and lasting approximately 3 hours. 6-APDB fully substituted for the discriminative stimulus effects of MDMA at 1 mg/kg, but produced low levels of drug-appropriate responding for cocaine- and methamphetamine-trained rats at the same dose. 6-APDB produced conditioned place preference. Our results indicate that 6-APDB produces hyperlocomotion, conditioned place preference, and discriminative stimulus effects similar to MDMA, suggesting that 6-APDB may have potential for abuse. The substitution of 6-APDB for MDMA, but not cocaine or methamphetamine, suggests that this compound may be used as a substitute for MDMA in a club or rave setting, especially as MDMA becomes more difficult to obtain.