Differentiation between the stimulus effects of (+)-lysergic acid diethylamide and lisuride using a three-choice, drug discrimination procedure

Patrick M. Callahan, James B. Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The discriminative stimulus properties of (+)-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and lisuride hydrogen maleate (LHM), were compared in a three-choice, water reinforced (FR 20) situation in which rats were required to press one lever following LSD (0.08 mg/kg), a second lever following LHM (0.04 mg/kg), and a third lever following saline. Reliable drug-appropriate responding was established in 72 sessions. Dose-response tests with LSD and LHM indicated that, as dose increased, the per cent of responding on the lever associated with the particular training drug also increased; little or no cross-transfer occurred between LSD and LHM. In generalization tests, the serotonin (5-HT) agonist quipazine substituted for LSD but not LHM while the dopamine (DA) agonist apomorphine mimicked LHM but not LSD; an unrelated compound, pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), produced responding on the saline-appropriate lever. In combination tests, 5-HT antagonists (e.g., BC-105 and low doses of pirenperone) blocked responding on the LSD lever while DA antagonists (e.g., haloperidol and much higher doses of pirenperone) blocked LHM-appropriate responding. These data suggest that the three-lever (D-D-N) procedure is similar to, but can be more sensitive than the two-lever (D-N) procedure (because it can differentiate between LSD and LHM); they therefore at least partially support the hypothesis that three-choice discriminations can be conceptualized as two separate, two-choice (D-N) discriminations (Jarbe and Swedberg 1982). The results also confirm suggestion that the stimulus effects of LSD and LHM are mediated by different mechanisms; the primary action of LSD is serotonergic (5-HT2), while that of LHM is dopaminergic (White 1986).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Dopamine
  • Drug discrimination
  • LSD
  • Lisuride
  • Serotonin
  • Three-choice discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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