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Neurosci Lett. 2004 Mar 25;358(2):87-90.

Acupuncture attenuates repeated nicotine-induced behavioral sensitization and c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens and striatum of the rat.

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Department of Oriental Medical Science, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, 1 Seochon-ri, Kiheung-eup, Youngin-shi, Kyungki-do 449-701, South Korea.


Repeated injections of nicotine can produce behavioral sensitization, as evidenced by an enhanced locomotor response to a subsequent injection of the drug. Behavioral sensitization has been suggested as a model for studying drug addiction. Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention is widely used for treatment for many functional disorders, such as substance abuse and mental dysfunction. We examined the effect of acupuncture on nicotine-induced behavioral locomotor activity and c-fos expression in the nucleus accumbens and striatum utilizing the immunocytochemical detection of the Fos protein. The rats were given repeated daily nicotine injections (0.4 mg/kg s.c., twice daily for 7 days) followed by one challenging injection on the 4th day after the last daily injection. Acupuncture at zusanli (ST36), but not control, significantly attenuated expected increase in nicotine-induced locomotor activity and Fos-like-immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumebns and striatum to subsequent nicotine challenge. These findings suggest that acupuncture has a therapeutic effect on nicotine addiction, possibly by modulating postsynaptic neuronal activity in the nucleus accumbens and the striatum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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