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Different methods of assessing nicotine-induced antinociception may engage different neural mechanisms

Abstract

Two methods were used to assess nicotine-in-duced antinociception: tail withdrawal from a hot water bath and hind paw withdrawal from a hotplate. Nicotine doses which produced 75–80% maximum response were 0.75 mg/kg (free base) for tail withdrawal and 0.35 mg/kg for paw withdrawal. The peripheral blocker chlorisondamine (0.1 mg/kg, SC) and the central antagonist, mecamylamine (1 mg/kg, SC) were each effective in blocking nicotine-induced increases in tail withdrawal latencies, suggesting that this effect of nicotine depends on either the action of nicotine at peripheral receptors or the functional integrity of those receptors. In contrast, nicotine-induced increases in paw withdrawal latencies were blocked by mecamylamine but not by chlorisondamine, even at other agonist/antagonist dose combinations. The results indicate that these two effects of nicotine involve at least partially separate pathways and may reflect a different mix of the antinociceptive and motor depressing effects of nicotine.

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Correspondence to A. R. Caggiula.

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Caggiula, A.R., Perkins, K.A., Saylor, S. et al. Different methods of assessing nicotine-induced antinociception may engage different neural mechanisms. Psychopharmacology 122, 301–306 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02246552

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Key words

  • Nicotine
  • Mecamylamine
  • Antinociception
  • Chlorisondamine