Dopaminergic sensitivity and cocaine abuse: Response to apomorphine

Eric Hollander, Edward Nunes, Concetta M. DeCaria, Frederic M. Quitkin, Thomas Cooper, Steven Wager, Donald F. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Ten male patients with chronic cocaine abuse received a single dose of the dopamine agonist apomorphine. Self-ratings of cocaine craving, depression, and anxiety decreased in response to apomorphine. Neuroendocrine response was consistent with central dopaminergic stimulation. Patients in the "craving" phase of the cocaine abuse cycle differed in behavioral but not neuroendocrine response to apomorphine from patients in the "crash" phase. Decrease in cocaine craving correlated with decrease in plasma homovanillic acid (pHVA). Total cocaine consumption correlated negatively with baseline prolactin and pHVA levels and inversely with peak change in prolactin following apomorphine. Patients had blunted neuroendocrine response to apomorphine in comparison to historical normal controls. Implications for the "dopamine" hypothesis of cocaine abuse are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Cocaine
  • apomorphine
  • dopamine
  • homovanillic acid
  • prolactin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Dopaminergic sensitivity and cocaine abuse: Response to apomorphine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this