Our structure-activity relationship (SAR) study on piperidine analogues for monoamine transporters led to the development of a series of 3,6-disubstituted piperidine derivatives, structurally constrained versions of flexible piperidine analogues, with preferential affinity for the dopamine transporter (DAT). In our attempt to further rigidify this structure to study influence of rigidity on binding and in vivo activity, we have developed a series of 4,8-disubstituted 1,4-diazabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane derivatives. All synthesized derivatives were tested for their affinity at the DAT, serotonin transporter (SERT), and norepinephrine transporter (NET) in the brain by measuring their potency in competing for the binding of [(3)H]WIN 35, 428, [(3)H]citalopram, and [(3)H]nisoxetine, respectively. Selected compounds were also tested for their ability to inhibit uptake of [(3)H]DA. The SAR study led to the discovery of a potent lead compound (-)-S,S-10c which exhibited high affinity and selectivity for the DAT (IC(50) = 22.5 nM; SERT/DAT = 384 and NET/DAT > 444). It is interesting to note that both (-)-10c and the lead compound from the 3,6-disubstituted series (-)-2 exhibited highest activity in their (S,S) isomer indicating similar requirement of regiospecificity for maximum interaction. Overall, our current SAR results corresponded well with the results from less constrained 3,6-disubstituted versions of these molecules albeit the former class exhibited more stringent requirement in molecular structure for activity. However, the potent compounds in the current series exhibited greater selectivity for the DAT compared to their corresponding lesser constrained 3,6-disubstituted versions indicating an effect of rigidity in selective interaction with the transporter proteins. In an effort to elucidate the bioactive conformational structure of the lead molecules in the current and the 3,6-disubstituted series, a preliminary molecular modeling study was carried out where the most rigid derivative (-)-10c was used as a template structure. Compounds (-)-2 and (-)-10c exhibited stimulant activity in locomotor tests in mice in which (-)-2 exhibited a slower onset and longer duration of action compared to (-)-10c. Both compounds occasioned complete cocaine-like responding in mice trained to discriminate 10 mg/kg ip cocaine from vehicle.