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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Jan;77(1):21-8.

Effects of nicotine on elevated plus maze and locomotor activity in male and female adolescent and adult rats.

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1
Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. belliott@usuhs.mil

Abstract

Over 4500 adolescents start smoking every day in the United States. Of these, one-third will die prematurely from smoking-related diseases. The current experiment examined the effects of repeated-acute nicotine administration (saline, 0.1, 0.5, or 1.0 mg/kg daily) on elevated plus maze (EPM) and locomotor behaviors of 160 adolescent and adult male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. Nicotine's effects depended on age and sex of animal. On the EPM, nicotine exerted anxiolytic effects (increased percentage of time in the open arms) in adolescent males, but exerted anxiogenic effects (decreased percentage of time in the open arms) in adolescent females and in adult males and females. For adults, peak locomotor activity occurred at the 0.5-mg/kg dosage, and the 1.0-mg/kg dosage reduced activity below the saline level on Day 1 and below the 0.5-mg/kg level on Days 1, 3, and 5. For adolescents, peak locomotor activity occurred at the 1.0-mg/kg dosage and there were no activity-depressant effects. These findings suggest there are age differences in sensitivity to nicotine that may affect vulnerability to long-term tobacco use.

PMID:
14724038
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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