Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Pharmacology & Toxicology

First Advisor

Keith Shelton


While e-cigarette vaporizers are primarily used for the delivery of nicotine, they can also be used to administer a wide range of other substances of abuse including stimulants such as d-amphetamine and methamphetamine. Methamphetamine and prescription amphetamines are widely abused throughout the United States and across the world leading us to believe there may be abuse potential with vaping methamphetamine as vaping becomes increasingly popular. In the present study, methamphetamine and amphetamine vapor were assessed using vapor capture methods. The vapor samples were then analyzed using liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy (LC-MS). Three experiments were carried out to examine the abuse potential of vaping methamphetamine. The first experiment was a locomotor assay, to determine if behaviorally relevant doses of methamphetamine were achieved under the chosen test conditions. The other two experiments were intracranial self-stimulation and a self-administration assay. Vapor analysis using LC-MS showed that the altered variables including voltage, flow rate, and puff time influenced the amount of drug vaporized and, in turn, would be likely to impact drug exposure. The locomotor assay revealed dose-dependent changes in total distance traveled with methamphetamine given subcutaneously (at doses of 0.3, 1, and 1.7 mg/kg) as well as concentration-dependent changes in locomotion after vaporized methamphetamine exposure (at e-liquid concentrations of 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg/ml). Time spent in the zones along the wall was also assessed as a model of anxiety-like effects. Vehicle vapor as well as vaporized methamphetamine at higher e-liquid concentrations (100 and 200 mg/ml) produced anxiogenic-like effects based on time spent in the zones along the walls of the locomotor chamber. Methamphetamine vapor puffs did not serve as reinforcers in the self-administration assay. ICSS data indicated that d-amphetamine vapor did not facilitate performance but further experimentation should be done due to the small sample size and a number of other challenges encountered.


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