Cholinergic and Non-Cholinergic Aspects of the Discriminative Stimulus Properties of Nicotine

  • John A. Rosecrans
  • William T. Chance
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 22)


Nicotine is one of the most interesting drugs used by man. Millions of humans (approximately 60 million in the USA) use and have used this drug via tobacco, but its mechanism of reinforcement has yet to be elucidated. Although nicotine, unlike morphine and cocaine, does not reinforce behavior in sub-human species, it does appear to be quite reinforcing in man. Behavioral effects associated with the use of nicotine have not been clearly documented in humans. In animals, however, the drug produces a variety of effects dependent upon baseline behaviors prior to drug administration. Thus, if baseline behaviors are low, nicotine increases these rates whereas a decrease is observed if the baseline behavior rate is initially high. None of these actions of nicotine have been reported in humans, however, and there is still little evidence indicating how the drug is affecting human behavior.


Discriminative Stimulus Stimulus Effect Drug State Discriminative Stimulus Effect Training Dose 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bovet, D., Bovet-Nitti, F. and Oliverio, A.: Action of nicotine on spontaneous and acquired behavior in rats and mice. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 142: 216–244, 1967,CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Breese, G.R.: Chemical and immunochemical lesions by specific neurotoxic substances and antisera: Handbook of Psychopharmacology, ed by: L.L. Iverson, S.D. Iverson and S.H. Snyder, 1:137–189, 1975.Google Scholar
  3. Domino, E.F.: Electroencephalographic and behavioral arousal effects of small doses of nicotine: A neuropsychological study. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 142:216–244, 1967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hirschhorn, I.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: Studies on the time course and the effect of cholinergic and adrenergic receptor blockers on the stimulus effect of nicotine. Psychopharmacology 40:109–120, 1974a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hirschhorn, I.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: A comparison of the stimulus effects of morphine and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2: 361–366, 1974b.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hirschhorn, I.D., Hayes, R.L., and Rosecrans, J.A.: Discriminative control of behavior by electrical stimulation of the dorsal raphe nucleus: Generalization to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Br. Res. 86:134–138, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kostowski, W., Giacalone, E., Garatinni, S. and Valzelli, L.: Electrical stimulation of midbrain raphe: Biochemical, behavioral and bioelectric effects. European J. Pharmacol. 7:170–175, 1969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Murphin, D.: A parametric study of the effects of nicotine’s discriminative control on tests od dose transfer and time duration for three schedules of reinforcement. Unpublished M.S. Thesis, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA., 1974.Google Scholar
  9. Rosecrans, J.A.: Effects of nicotine on behavioral arousal and brain 5-hydroxytryptamine function in female rats selected for differences in activity. European J. Pharmacol. 14:29–37, 1971a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rosecrans, J.A.: Effects of nicotine on brain area 5-hydroxytryp-tamine function in male and female rats separated for differences of activity. European J. Pharmacol. 16:123–137, 1971b.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rosecrans, J.A.: Brain area nicotine levels in male and female rats with different levels of spontaneous activity. Neuropharmacol. 11:863–870, 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Rosecrans, J.A. and Schechter, M.D.: Brain area nicotine levels in male and female rats of two strains. Arch. Int. Pharmacodyn. 196:46–54, 1972.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Rosecrans, J.A., Dren, A.T. and Domino, E.F.: Effects of physostigmine on rat brain acetylcholine, acetylcholinesterase and conditioned pole jumping. Neuropharmacol. 7:127–134, 1968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Rosecrans, J.A., Goodloe, M.H., Bennett, G.J. and Hirschhorn, I.D.: Morphine as a discriminative cue: Effects of amine depletors and naloxone. European J. Pharmacol. 21:252–256, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rosecrans, J.A., Elchisak, M.A. and Schechter, M.D.: Dopamine and psychoactive drug action: A further evaluation. Fed. Proc. 60:506, 1976.Google Scholar
  16. Schechter, M.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: CNS effect of nicotine as the discriminative stimulus for the rat in a T-maze. Life Sciences l0:821–832, 1971a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schechter, M.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: Behavioral evidence for two types of cholinergic receptors in the CNS. European J. Pharmacol 15:375–378, 1971b.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schechter, M.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: Nicotine as a discriminative cue in rats: Inability of related drugs to produce a nicotine-like cueing effect. Psychopharmacology 27:374–387, 1972a.Google Scholar
  19. Schechter, M.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: Effect of mecamylamine on discrimination between nicotine- and arecoline-produced cues. European J. Pharmacol. 17: 179–182, 1972b.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schechter, M.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: Atropine antagonism of arecoline-cued behavior in the rat. Life Science 11: 517–523, 1972c.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schechter, M.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: Nicotine as a discriminative stimulus in rats depleted of norepinephrine or 5-hydroxytryptamine. Psychopharmacology 24:417–429, 1972d.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schechter, M.D. and Rosecrans, J.A.: d-Amphetamine as a discriminative cuep Drugs with similar stimulus properties. European J. Pharmacol. 21: 212–216, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schechter, M.D.: Transfer of state-dependent control of discriminative behavior between subcutaneously and intraventricularly administered nicotine and saline. Psychopharmacology 32: 327–335, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Rosecrans
    • 1
  • William T. Chance
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations