Effects of benztropine analogs on delay discounting in rats

Paul L. Soto, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, USA. soto1@lsu.edu.
Takato Hiranita, Department of Pharmacodynamics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.


RATIONALE: Methylphenidate and d-amphetamine, medications used for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are used recreationally and self-administered by laboratory animals. Benztropine (BZT) analogs, like those medications, increase synaptic dopamine levels but are less effective in maintaining self-administration, suggesting clinical utility with less abuse liability. OBJECTIVES: The current study was designed to evaluate potential therapeutic effects of BZT analogs related to ADHD. METHODS: Rats responded under a delay-discounting procedure in which responses on one lever produced immediate delivery of a single food pellet and alternative responses produced four food pellets either immediately or with various temporal delays, with those delays arranged in ascending or random orders in different groups of rats. Selection of the smaller more immediate reinforcer has been suggested as an aspect of "impulsivity," a trait with suggested involvement in ADHD. Other rats were studied under fixed-interval (FI) 300-s schedules to assess drug effects on behavior under temporal control. RESULTS: d-Amphetamine, methylphenidate, and the BZT analog AHN 1-055, but not AHN 2-005 or JHW 007, increased selection of the large, delayed reinforcer with either arrangement of delays. All drugs changed the temporal distribution of responses within the FI from one with responses concentrated at the end to a more uniform distribution. Changes in the temporal distribution of FI responding occurred with drugs that did not affect discounting suggesting that discounting does not arise directly from the same temporal control processes controlling FI responding. CONCLUSIONS: AHN 1-055 may be of clinical utility in the treatment of ADHD.