Nicotine Withdrawal in Adolescent and Adult Rats

Department of Neuropharmacology, CVN-7, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.38). 07/2004; 1021(1):167-74. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1308.022
Source: PubMed


Previous research with animal models has demonstrated that adolescent rats display heightened sensitivity to the reinforcing and stimulant effects of nicotine relative to adult rats. Little work has focused on the response of adolescent rats to measures of nicotine withdrawal. To test the hypothesis that adolescent rats may be differentially sensitive to withdrawal relative to their adult counterparts, the present study was designed to compare precipitated withdrawal in adolescent and adult rats following chronic nicotine administration. Adult and adolescent rats were prepared with subcutaneous osmotic minipumps that delivered either saline or nicotine (9 mg/kg per day, salt; N =12 per group). All rats were challenged with the nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine (1.5 mg/kg) on day 7 of chronic nicotine treatment. Twenty minutes after the injection, overt somatic signs of withdrawal (i.e., eye blinks, writhes, body shakes, teeth chatter, gasps, and ptosis) were recorded for 10 min. Adult rats were observed on postnatal day 73-77, and adolescent rats were tested on postnatal day 36-40. The results revealed a robust increase in mecamylamine-induced withdrawal signs in adult rats receiving chronic nicotine relative to adult rats receiving saline. In contrast, mecamylamine did not precipitate withdrawal signs in adolescent rats receiving chronic nicotine. These results indicate that there is decreased sensitivity to the somatic aspects of nicotine withdrawal in adolescent rats that may maximize the reinforcing effects of nicotine during adolescence by minimizing the aversive effects of abstinence.

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Available from: Athina Markou, May 21, 2015
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    • "All changes observed in the NIC offspring in the NAc at the end of nicotine exposure (PN15) were reverted after a 5-day withdrawal period , at PN21 Usually, a rebound effect is expected after withdrawal (Porrino et al., 1983; Ekblom et al., 1993; Teixeira, 2009). These results could be explained, in part, by a lower sensitivity to nicotine withdrawal symptoms in young rats (O'Dell et al., 2004, 2007). At weaning, NIC offspring presented lower DAT content in the DS, which may indicate greater dopaminergic action in this region. "
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    ABSTRACT: Nicotine exposure causes the release of dopamine from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We have previously shown that maternal exposure to nicotine during lactation causes hyperleptinemia in dams and pups, and leptin is known to decrease dopamine release from the VTA. Here we evaluated whether maternal exposure to nicotine during lactation causes changes in dopamine and leptin signaling pathways at the end of exposure and after 5days of withdrawal in the: VTA, NAc, arcuate nucleus (ARC) and dorsal striatum (DS). On postnatal day (PN) 2, lactating Wistar rats were implanted with minipumps releasing nicotine (NIC; 6mg/Kg/day, s.c.) or saline (C) for 14days. Offspring were tested in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field on PN14 or PN20, and euthanized on PN15 or PN21. Entries into the open arms and head dips in the EPM were reduced in NIC pups at P20. At weaning (PN21), NIC dams had: lower tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), higher OBRb and SOCS3 contents in VTA; lower TH, higher D1R, D2R and DAT contents in NAc; higher TH content in DS; and higher D2R and SOCS3 contents in ARC. On PN15, NIC offspring had higher D1R, D2R and lower DAT contents in NAc, while on PN21, they had lower DAT in DS, and lower pSTAT3 content in ARC. We evidenced that postnatal nicotine exposure induces relevant changes in the brain reward system of dams and pups, possibly associated with changes in leptinemia and increased offspring anxiety-like behavior. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
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    • "In addition to its reinforcing effects, the persistence of nicotine self-administration by humans is thought to be due, at least in part, to the occurrence of a withdrawal syndrome upon cessation (for reviews see; Benowitz, 2010; Henningfield et al., 1998; Hughes et al., 1994). This phenomenon has been measured in rodents using somatic signs (e.g., writhes, gasps, shakes, and tremor; Kota et al., 2007; Malin et al., 1992; O'Dell et al., 2004), increased thresholds for intracranial selfstimulation (Epping-Jordan et al., 1998), and with the disruption of food-reinforced responding (Corrigall et al., 1989; LeSage et al., 2006; Rosecrans et al., 1989; Vann et al., 2006). In the present study nicotine was capable of restoring foodmaintained responding during spontaneous and precipitated nicotine withdrawal. "
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    • "Interestingly, adolescent rats may be more sensitive also to the contribution of non-nicotinic tobacco smoke ingredients of tobacco as acetaldehyde, a major component of tobacco smoke, appears to more readily enhance nicotine self-administration in adolescent but not adult rats (Belluzzi et al., 2005). In addition to the increased rewarding effects and reduced aversive effect of nicotine in adolescents, studies using models of withdrawal from chronic passive nicotine delivery suggest that adolescent rats have a more benign nicotine withdrawal syndrome, as reflected by lower levels of somatic signs (O'Dell et al., 2004; Shram et al., 2008), withdrawal thresholds (O'Dell et al., 2006), CPA (O'Dell et al., 2007), and anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze (Wilmouth and Spear, 2006). Importantly, the human data on adolescence as a critical period in the establishment of smoking behavior in adulthood is supported by the finding that exposure to nicotine during adolescence is associated with enhanced rewarding effects of nicotine. "
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    ABSTRACT: Much evidence indicates that individuals use tobacco primarily to experience the psychopharmacological properties of nicotine and that a large proportion of smokers eventually become dependent on nicotine. In humans, nicotine acutely produces positive reinforcing effects, including mild euphoria, whereas a nicotine abstinence syndrome with both somatic and affective components is observed after chronic nicotine exposure. Animal models of nicotine self-administration and chronic exposure to nicotine have been critical in unveiling the neurobiological substrates that mediate the acute reinforcing effects of nicotine and emergence of a withdrawal syndrome during abstinence. However, important aspects of the transition from nicotine abuse to nicotine dependence, such as the emergence of increased motivation and compulsive nicotine intake following repeated exposure to the drug, have only recently begun to be modeled in animals. Thus, the neurobiological mechanisms that are involved in these important aspects of nicotine addiction remain largely unknown. In this review, we describe the different animal models available to date and discuss recent advances in animal models of nicotine exposure and nicotine dependence. This review demonstrates that novel animal models of nicotine vapor exposure and escalation of nicotine intake provide a unique opportunity to investigate the neurobiological effects of second-hand nicotine exposure, electronic cigarette use, and the mechanisms that underlie the transition from nicotine use to compulsive nicotine intake.
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