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The reinforcing efficacy of cocaine is correlated with its
affinity at dopamine, but not serotonin or norepinephrine transporters
(Bergman et al. 1989; Ritz et al. 1987).
The amount of cocaine self-administered is positively correlated
with extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens in rats
or monkeys (see Bari and Pierce 2005).
Fluctuations in extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens
predict response for cocaine (Wise et al. 1995).
Dopamine D1 or D2 antagonists
or a neurochemical depletion of dopamine decreases the reinforcing effects
of cocaine and amphetamine (see Mello and Negus 1996).
The binding affinity of stimulants at the dopamine transporter
is correlated with their potency at maintaining self-administration
(Lile et al. 2003; Wilcox et al. 1999).
The magnitude of the self-reported high correlates
with the occupancy of the dopamine transporter by cocaine, and the
time course for these ratings parallels cocaine concentrations in
the striatum (Volkow et al. 1997).
The magnitude of the self-reported high from amphetamine
correlates with the magnitude of dopamine release (Abi-Dargham et al. 2003).