To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Nicotinic acetylcholine r… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the ventral tegmental area mediate the dopamine activating and reinforcing properties of ethanol cues.

Journal article
Authors Elin Löf
Peter Olausson
Andrea deBejczy
Rosita Stomberg
J Michael McIntosh
Jane R Taylor
Bo Söderpalm
Published in Psychopharmacology
Volume 195
Issue 3
Pages 333-43
ISSN 0033-3158
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 333-43
Language en
Keywords Animals, Conditioning, Operant, drug effects, Conotoxins, pharmacology, Cues, Dihydro-beta-Erythroidine, pharmacology, Dopamine, metabolism, Ethanol, pharmacology, Male, Mecamylamine, pharmacology, Microdialysis, Nicotinic Agonists, pharmacology, Nicotinic Antagonists, pharmacology, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Rats, Wistar, Receptors, Nicotinic, physiology, Reinforcement (Psychology), Self Administration, Ventral Tegmental Area, drug effects, metabolism
Subject categories Pharmacology and Toxicology, Biological research on drug dependence, Neurobiology, Substance Abuse


RATIONALE: Cues associated with alcohol can elicit craving, support drug-seeking and precipitate relapse. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the possible involvement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in the conditioned reinforcing properties of ethanol-associated stimuli in the rat. MATERIALS AND METHODS: First, using in vivo microdialysis, we analyzed the effect of VTA perfusion of the nonselective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine (MEC) or the selective alpha4beta2* nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHbetaE) on the nucleus accumbens (nAc) dopaminergic response to the presentation of an ethanol-associated conditioned stimulus (CS). Second, rats were trained to associate a tone+light CS with the presentation of 10% ethanol and were subsequently tested on the acquisition of a new instrumental response with conditioned reinforcement (CR) after local VTA infusion of MEC, DHbetaE, or alpha-Conotoxin MII (alpha-CtxMII, a selective alpha3beta2* and alpha6* nAChR antagonist). RESULTS: The ethanol-associated CS elevated nAc dopamine, an effect that was blocked by VTA perfusion of MEC but not DHbetaE. Systemic administration of MEC or local VTA infusion of MEC or alpha-CtxMII selectively blocked ethanol-associated CR, whereas systemic DHbetaE had no effect. CONCLUSIONS: We hypothesize a novel mechanism by which alcohol-associated cues promote drug-seeking behavior via activation of dopamine-stimulating alpha-CtxMII-sensitive nAChRs in the VTA. Pharmacological manipulations of selective nAChRs may thus be possible treatment strategies to prevent cue-induced relapse.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?