Nicotine increases alcohol self-administration and reinstates alcohol seeking in rats
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Rationale and objective
Alcohol and tobacco are often co-abused in humans and previous studies found that nicotine increases alcohol consumption in rats. Here, we studied whether nicotine would reinstate alcohol-taking behavior in drug-free rats and whether this effect would be enhanced by prior exposure to nicotine during alcohol self-administration training.
Rats were trained to press a lever for alcohol (12% w/v, 1 h/day), and following stable alcohol intake groups of rats (n=11–12) were given daily vehicle or nicotine (0.2, 0.4 or 0.8 mg/kg, SC) injections just prior to the self-administration sessions for 10 days. Rats were then given 6 days of alcohol self-administration in the absence of nicotine and an additional 5–10 drug-free days during which lever presses were not reinforced (extinction). Subsequently, rats were tested for reinstatement of alcohol seeking following exposure to priming injections of vehicle or nicotine (0.4 mg/kg, SC).
Nicotine increased alcohol self-administration in a dose- and time-dependent manner over the 10-day period. Nicotine also reinstated alcohol seeking after extinction of the alcohol-reinforced behavior, and this effect was strongly enhanced by prior nicotine exposure.
The present data extend previous studies on the effect of nicotine on alcohol self-administration, and further indicate that nicotine is an effective stimulus for reinstatement of alcohol seeking during drug-free periods.
- Nicotine increases alcohol self-administration and reinstates alcohol seeking in rats
Volume 168, Issue 1-2 , pp 216-221
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- A1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2S1
- A2. Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
- A3. Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
- A4. Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, IRP/NIDA/NIH/DHHS, Baltimore, Md., USA