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Effects of nicotine e-cigarette self-administration on addic

Institution: Scripps Research Institute
Investigator(s): Olivier George, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2018 (Cycle 27) Grant #: 27IR-0047 Award: $1,377,035
Subject Area: Neuroscience of Nicotine Addiction and Treatment
Award Type: High Impact Research Project Award

Initial Award Abstract

The electronic cigarette (e-cig) industry generated over $2.5 billion in revenue in the United States last year and is predicted to pass traditional cigarette sales by 2023 and reach $50 billion worldwide by 2030. In 2014 in California, for the first time ever, the teen use of e-cigs surpassed the use of traditional cigarettes. This is a major concern for communities, researchers, healthcare professionals, and law-makers because there is very little research on the long-term health effects of e-cig use to inform policy. Does chronic nicotine e-cig use produce nicotine dependence and addiction-like behaviors? Does it produce changes in the brain? To address this issue, we have recently developed a novel animal model of nicotine e-cig vapor self-administration. However, we do not know the impact of chronic nicotine e-cig vapor self-administration on key neurobehavioral measures of nicotine addiction, and we do not know the impact of the other ingredients of electronic cigarettes. The overall goal of this proposal is to address these gaps in the literature using chronic nicotine e-cig vapor self-administration in male and female adolescent rats. Results from these studies will provide a preclinical model to evaluate the addictive potential of ingredients other than nicotine in e-cig vapor to complement human studies and inform users and policymakers. It will also identify the causal effects of chronic extended access to nicotine e-cig self-administration on the development of addiction-like behaviors and its impact on the brain. Results from these studies have the potential to rapidly impact multiple fields of research that are relevant to tobacco-related disease, including the cardiopulmonary, neuroscience, and experimental psychology fields. This model may also be particularly useful for investigating the neurobiology of nicotine addiction and developing new medications that seek to reduce nicotine dependence.