Effects of nicotine on the nucleus accumbens and similarity to those of addictive drugs

F. E. Pontieri, G. Tanda, F. Orzi, G. Di Chiara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

872 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The question of whether nicotine, the neuroactive compound of tobacco, is addictive has been open to considerable scientific and public discussion. Although it can serve as a positive reinforcer in several animal species, including man, nicotine is thought to be a weak reinforcer in comparison with addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroin, and has been argued to be habit forming but not addictive. Here we report that intravenous nicotine in the rat, at doses known to maintain self-administration, stimulates local energy metabolism, as measured by 2-deoxyglucose autoradiography, and dopamine transmission, as estimated by brain microdialysis, in the shell of the nucleus accumbens. These neurochemical and metabolic effects are qualitatively similar to those of other drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamine and morphine, which have strong addictive properties. Our results provide functional and neurochemical evidence that there are specific neurobiological commonalities between nicotine and addictive drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-257
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume382
Issue number6588
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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Nucleus Accumbens
Nicotine
Cocaine
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Self Administration
Heroin
Microdialysis
Deoxyglucose
Amphetamine
Autoradiography
Morphine
Energy Metabolism
Habits
Tobacco
Dopamine
Brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Effects of nicotine on the nucleus accumbens and similarity to those of addictive drugs. / Pontieri, F. E.; Tanda, G.; Orzi, F.; Di Chiara, G.

In: Nature, Vol. 382, No. 6588, 1996, p. 255-257.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pontieri, F. E. ; Tanda, G. ; Orzi, F. ; Di Chiara, G. / Effects of nicotine on the nucleus accumbens and similarity to those of addictive drugs. In: Nature. 1996 ; Vol. 382, No. 6588. pp. 255-257.
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