Most CNS drugs produce a pharmacologically specific interoceptive cue in rats that they can use to differentiate between the training drug and vehicle. Drug discrimination testing using abused drugs as the training cues is used to investigate whether novel CNS-active compounds produce similar psychoactive effects and is a core part of the regulatory non-clinical abuse potential package. Test drugs that generalise to the comparator drug are likely to produce similar psychoactive effects in humans. All drug discrimination studies can be performed to GLP to adhere to regulatory requirements.
Drug discrimination can be established across a broad range of CNS active mechanisms
A wide range of drug cues have been validated including:
MDMA and other entactogens
Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine GABAergics