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Life Sci. 2002 Nov 1;71(24):2807-20.

Nicotine's oxidative and antioxidant properties in CNS.

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Center for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, University of South Florida, College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Nicotine has been reported to be therapeutic in some patients with certain neurodegenerative diseases and to have neuroprotective effects in the central nervous system. However, nicotine administration may result in oxidative stress by inducing the generation of reactive oxygen species in the periphery and central nervous system. There is also evidence suggesting that nicotine may have antioxidant properties in the central nervous system. The antioxidant properties of nicotine may be intracellular through the activation of the nicotinic receptors or extracellular by acting as a radical scavenger in that it binds to iron. The possibility that nicotine might be used to treat some symptoms of certain neurodegenerative diseases underlies the necessity to determine whether nicotine has pro-oxidant, antioxidant or properties of both. This review discusses the studies that have addressed this issue, the behavioral effects of nicotine, and the possible mechanisms of action that result from nicotine administration or nicotinic receptor activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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