Activation of α4β2*/α 6β2* Nicotinic Receptors Alleviates Anxiety During Nicotine Withdrawal Without Upregulating Nicotinic Receptors.

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 3.97). 03/2014; 349(2). DOI: 10.1124/jpet.113.211706
Source: PubMed


While nicotine mediates its effects through several nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes, it remains to be determined which nAChR subtypes directly mediate heightened anxiety during withdrawal. Relative success in abstinence has been found with the nAChR partial agonist Varenicline (Chantix; Pfizer), however treatment with this drug fails to alleviate anxiety in individuals during nicotine withdrawal. Therefore, it is hypothesized that success can be found by the repurposing of other nAChR partial agonists for cessation therapies that target anxiety. Interestingly, the selective partial agonists for α4β2, ABT-089, and α7, ABT-107, (AbbVie) have not been evaluated as possible therapeutics for nicotine cessation. Therefore we examined the effect of ABT-089 and ABT-107 on anxiety during withdrawal from nicotine in the novelty-induced hypophagia (NIH) paradigm. We found that acute ABT-089 and ABT-107 alleviate anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal from nicotine while chronic ABT-089 but not chronic ABT-107 reduces anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal. Following behavioral testing, brains were harvested and beta2-containing nAChRs were measured using [3H]Epibaditine. ABT-089 and ABT-107 do not upregulate nAChRs, which is in contrast to the upregulation of nAChRs observed following nicotine. Furthermore, ABT-089 is anxiogenic in nicotine naive animals, suggesting that the effects on anxiety are specifically related to the nicotine-dependent state. Together, these studies identify additional nAChR partial agonists that may aid in the rational development of smoking cessation aids.

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    • "Also, Paylor et al. (1998) showed that α7 nAChR-lacking KO mice show decreased levels of anxiety in the EPM paradigm, while an α7-selective agonist, PNU-282987, was shown to increase anxiety in the OF paradigm (Pandya & Yakel, 2013). Similarly, desensitization of α7 nAChRs by using an α7 partial agonist, ABT-107, was found to reverse the anxiogenic effects of nicotine withdrawal (Yohn et al., 2014). Overall, these results suggest that in animals, nicotine has differential effects on anxiety in different strains/species and anxiety-related animal models. "
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    ABSTRACT: Even though smoking rates have long been on the decline, nicotine addiction still affects 20% of the US population today. Moreover, nicotine dependence shows high comorbidity with many mental illnesses including, but are not limited to, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression. The reason for the high rates of smoking in patients with mental illnesses may relate to attempts to self-medicate with nicotine. While nicotine may alleviate the symptoms of mental disorders, nicotine abstinence has been shown to worsen the symptoms of these disorders. In this chapter, we review the studies from animal and human research examining the bidirectional relationship between nicotine and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression as well as studies examining the roles of specific subunits of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the interaction between nicotine and these mental illnesses. The results of these studies suggest that activation, desensitization, and upregulation of nAChRs modulate the effects of nicotine on mental illnesses.
    International Review of Neurobiology 09/2015; · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    • "nAChRs, reversed the anxiogenic effects of nicotine withdrawal in a novelty-induced hypophagia paradigm, an anxiety paradigm measuring the novelty-induced reduction of feeding behavior. Also in this task, Yohn et al. [252] found that a partial agonist of a4b2 nAChR, ABT-089, resulted in the reversal of withdrawal-related anxiety but produced anxiogenic effects in nicotine naïve animals. Therefore, these results show that a4b2 and a7 nAChRs differentially mediate both anxiety and nicotine's effects on anxiety. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anxiety disorders are a group of crippling mental diseases affecting millions of Americans with a 30% lifetime prevalence and costs associated with healthcare of $42.3 billion. While anxiety disorders show high levels of co-morbidity with smoking (45.3% vs. 22.5% in healthy individuals), anxiety disorders are also more common among the smoking population (22% vs. 11.1% in the non-smoking population). Moreover, there is clear evidence that smoking modulates symptom severity in patients with anxiety disorders. In order to better understand this relationship, several animal paradigms are used to model several key symptoms of anxiety disorders; these include fear conditioning and measures of anxiety. Studies clearly demonstrate that nicotine mediates acquisition and extinction of fear as well as anxiety through the modulation of specific subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in brain regions involved in emotion processing such as the hippocampus. However, the direction of nicotine's effects on these behaviors is determined by several factors that include the length of administration, hippocampus-dependency of the fear learning task, and source of anxiety (novelty-driven vs. social anxiety). Overall, the studies reviewed here suggest that nicotine alters behaviors related to fear and anxiety and that nicotine contributes to the development, maintenance, and reoccurrence of anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Biochemical pharmacology 07/2015; 97(4). DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2015.07.029 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Current smoking cessation pharmacotherapies have modest efficacy, and most smokers relapse within the first few days after a quit attempt. Nicotine withdrawal-induced craving and cognitive impairments predict smoking relapse during abstinence and suggest that cognitive-enhancing drugs may prevent relapse. ABT-089 and ABT-107 are subtype-selective nAChR agonists that improve cognitive performance in laboratory animals. However, there are no studies examining the effects of ABT-089 and ABT-107 on nicotine self-administration and the reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior, an animal model of relapse in human smokers. The goal of the present study was to determine the effects of the α4β2*/α6β2* nAChR agonist ABT-089 and the α7 nAChR agonist ABT-107 on nicotine taking and seeking in rats. The effects of acute ABT-089 and ABT-107 pretreatment on nicotine self-administration and reinstatement were tested in male Sprague Dawley rats. Parallel studies of ABT-089 and ABT-107 on sucrose self-administration and reinstatement were tested in separate groups of rats to determine if the effects of these drug treatments generalized to other reinforced behaviors. Nicotine and sucrose self-administration behaviors were not altered following acute administration of ABT-089 (0, 0.12, 1.2 and 12.0mg/kg) or ABT-107 (0, 0.03 and 0.3mg/kg). In contrast, both ABT-089 and ABT-107 pretreatment dose-dependently attenuated nicotine reinstatement. These effects were reinforcer-specific as no effects of ABT-089 or ABT-107 pretreatment on sucrose seeking were noted. Taken together, these findings suggest that ABT-089 and ABT-107 do not affect nicotine consumption, but may reduce the likelihood that a smoking lapse will lead to relapse.
    Behavioural Brain Research 08/2014; 274. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.08.016 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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