Although it is generally accepted that the abuse-related effects of amphetamines and
cocaine result from the activation of the brain dopaminergic (DA) system, the psychostimulants also
alter other neurotransmitter systems. In particular, they increase extracellular levels of norepinephrine
(NE) and serotonin by inhibiting respective plasma membrane transporters and/or inducing release.
The present review will discuss the preclinical findings on the effects of the NE system modulation
(lesions, pharmacological and genetic approaches) on behaviors (locomotor hyperactivity, behavioral
sensitization, modification of intracranial self-stimulation, conditioned place preference, drug selfadministration,
extinction/reinstatement of drug seeking behavior) related to the psychostimulant addiction.
Keywords: Amphetamine, behavioral sensitization, cocaine, conditioned place preference, drug self-administration,
intracranial self-stimulation, locomotor activity, norepinephrine.
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