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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pharmacokinetics of intravenous cocaine across the menstrual cycle in rhesus monkeys.

Several studies in rodents suggest that there are sex differences in response to cocaine that are related to fluctuations in the ovarian hormones of females. Female rhesus monkeys have menstrual cycles that are remarkably similar to human menstrual cycles in both duration and hormonal variations. Therefore, data obtained in monkeys should be an ideal model for assessing the effects of cocaine across the menstrual cycle in humans. The present study assessed the acute effects of intravenous cocaine (0, 0.25, 0.50, and 1.00 mg/kg) in five female rhesus monkeys during four phases of the menstrual cycle: menses, midfollicular, periovulatory, and midluteal. To reduce the effects of stress that can occur from sedation, all animals were trained to enter primate chairs so that repeated blood samples could be obtained in awake animals. Hormone levels for estradiol and progesterone were measured each session before cocaine administration. Cocaine and cocaine metabolite plasma levels were measured at 5, 15, 30, 45, 60, and 90 min after cocaine administration. Similarly, levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) were measured before, 15, 30, 45, 60, and 90 min after cocaine administration. Within 5 min of cocaine administration, cocaine plasma levels peaked and dose-dependent behavioral changes (ie increased motor activity, mydriasis, and refusal of treats) were observed. These effects typically resolved in 15-30 min. There were few differences in the pharmacokinetic profile of cocaine across the menstrual cycle. However, the cocaine metabolites, BZE and EME, did vary across the menstrual cycle, with both being increased in the luteal phase, particularly following the highest dose of cocaine. In addition, unlike previous studies, cocaine did not produce consistent increases in LH levels. Rather, the change in LH levels depended on menstrual cycle phase and cocaine dose. In summary, there is little evidence that the pharmacokinetics of cocaine vary as a function of menstrual cycle phase.[1]


  1. Pharmacokinetics of intravenous cocaine across the menstrual cycle in rhesus monkeys. Evans, S.M., Foltin, R.W. Neuropsychopharmacology (2004) [Pubmed]
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