Impact of acute nicotine exposure on monoaminergic systems in adolescent and adult male and female rats.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Adolescence is a period of risk for beginning tobacco addiction. Differential neural response to nicotine in adolescents vs. adults may help explain the increased vulnerability to nicotine self-administration seen with adolescent onset. We indexed the effects of acute nicotine ditartrate (0.4 mg/kg, salt weight) administration on dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5HT) as well as the DA metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) in several brain regions (nucleus accumbens, striatum and frontal cortex) of 6-week old (adolescent) and 10-week old (young adult) Sprague-Dawley rats. When nicotine was administered DA concentrations in the accumbens were significantly higher in adults than in adolescents, whereas there was no age-related difference without nicotine. However neither age group showed a significant effect of nicotine vs. age-matched controls. DA turnover in the accumbens was significantly greater in adolescent females in response to nicotine, but adult females did not show this effect and neither did males of either age group. DA turnover in the striatum was significantly higher in adolescents than adults regardless of nicotine administration. In the frontal cortex, there was a more complex effect. Without nicotine, adult male rats had higher DA concentrations than adolescent males, whereas female rats did not differ from adolescent to adult ages. When given nicotine, the age effect was no longer seen in males. However, there was not a significant effect of nicotine vs. age-matched controls in either age group. No age or nicotine effects were seen in females. 5HT in the accumbens was significantly increased by nicotine administration in adults but not in adolescents. Altered neural responsivity of adolescents to nicotine-induced neural effects particularly in accumbens DA and 5HT may be related to the increased nicotine dose concentrations they self-administer.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Eddins, D; Petro, A; Levin, ED

Published Date

  • 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 93 /

Start / End Page

  • 107122 -

PubMed ID

  • 36116700

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-9738

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States