Central nicotinic receptor agonists ABT-418, ABT-089, and (-)-nicotine reduce distractibility in adult monkeys

Mark A. Prendergast, William J. Jackson, Alvin V. Terry, Michael W. Decker, Stephen P. Arneric, Jerry J. Buccafusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Increased distractibility is associated with both Alzheimer's disease and attention deficit disorder. The present study examined the effects of (-)-nicotine and the novel central nicotinic receptor (nAChR) agonists ABT-418 [(S)-3-methyl-2-pyrrolidinyl)isoxazole] and ABT-089 [2-metoyl-3-(2-(S)-pyrrolindinylmethoxy)-pyridine dihydrochloride] on the delayed recall accuracy of adult monkeys exposed to distracting stimuli. Unpredictable exposure to a random visual array produced marked decrements in recall accuracy on trials with the shortest delay intervals, reducing the accuracy on these trials by 23.4%. Intramuscular (IM) administration of (-)-nicotine, in doses of 5.4-43.3 nmol/kg, attenuated the effect of the distractor, but did not completely prevent it. Both ABT-418 (2.0-16.2 nmol/kg, IM) and ABT-089 (16.4-32.8 nmol/kg, IM) prevented distractibility, producing increases of 7.5-25.0% in accuracy on trials disrupted by distractor exposure. Further, both compounds also improved accuracy on trials during which distractors were not presented, an effect which was not observed after (-)-nicotine administration. Nicotinic-mediated side effects were not observed following administration of any compound. Thus, nAChR stimulation reduces distractibility in adult monkeys and may, therefore, represent a target for the pharmacologic treatment of disorders associated with susceptibility to distraction. ABT-418 and ABT-089 appear to be particularly useful in this regard, a likely result of their selective agonist activity at nAChRs expressed in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • (-)-Nicotine
  • ABT-089
  • ABT-418
  • Cognition
  • Delay matching
  • Distractibility
  • Monkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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