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Stress and the use of nicotine

Institution: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Investigator(s): Robert Pechnick, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2000 (Cycle 9) Grant #: 9RT-0103 Award: $897,484
Subject Area: Nicotine Dependence
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Although it is well appreciated that nicotine is a very addictive substance, the exact reasons for its addictive nature remain elusive. Evidence suggests that stress in general, and stress hormones such as corticosterone and cortisol in particular, can modulate nicotine intake. However, the relationship between stress and nicotine use is not well defined.

For the first two series of studies, we propose to assess the relationship among stress, stress hormones (corticosterone in particular) and nicotine self-administration using an animal model. This modeling will allow us to determine how easy or difficult it is to start or stop the self-administration nicotine. At the same time, we will study the relationship between blood levels of corticosterone and self-administration of nicotine, as well as determine the corticosterone response to the intake of nicotine and to nicotine withdrawal.

The next series of studies will determine the effects of prior stressors on nicotine self-administration. We will measure the levels of corticosterone and the corticosterone response to nicotine and determine if these are related to the degree or pattern of nicotine self-administration.

Finally, studies suggest that smoking is increased in humans exposed to stressful experiences early in life (Anda et al 1999). Accordingly, we will determine if neonatal exposure can produce permanent changes in the regulation of the corticosterone secretion that may also effect adult nicotine self-administration.

Taken together, the results of the proposed studies should help us to understand if, how, and to what extent, prior stress, occurring either during adulthood or during early development, effects nicotine self-administration. The results should help us to devise new strategies to prevent and treat nicotine abuse.

Self-administration of 5-lodo-A-85380, a beta-2 selective nicotinic recepto ligand, by operatntly trained rats.
Periodical: NeuroReport Index Medicus:
Authors: Liu X, Koren AO, Yee S, Pechnick RN, Poland RE, London ED ART
Yr: 0 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg: