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Eur J Pharmacol. 2001 Apr 6;417(1-2):117-23.

Nicotine-induced behavioral disinhibition and ethanol preference correlate after repeated nicotine treatment.

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Department of Pharmacology, Göteborg University, Box 431, SE-405 30, Göteborg, Sweden.


This study investigated the effects of repeated daily nicotine (0.35 mg/kg; 15 days) treatment on behavioral inhibition and locomotor activity in the elevated plus-maze and on voluntary ethanol consumption. When challenged with nicotine before the test, rats pretreated with repeated nicotine spent more time on and made more entries onto the open arms of an elevated plus-maze than did vehicle-pretreated animals. The ethanol preference and intake, measured during 3 h after a nicotine injection, was also higher in the nicotine-pretreated animals. In ethanol consumption experiments, there was a positive correlation between the % time and % entries made onto open arms vs. the ethanol preference and intake. However, no correlation between the total number of entries made in the elevated plus-maze and the measures of ethanol consumption was observed. These findings suggest that the ability of repeated nicotine administration to increase ethanol consumption is related to development of a nicotine-induced reduction of inhibitory control rather than development of locomotor sensitization.

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