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Neuropharmacology. 2006 Jul;51(1):44-51. Epub 2006 Apr 24.

Effects of chronic nicotine administration and its withdrawal on striatal FosB/DeltaFosB and c-Fos expression in rats and mice.

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Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56 (Viikinkaari 5), Helsinki FIN-00014, Finland.


DeltaFosB, a member of Fos family of transcription factors, is implicated in behavioural responses and synaptic plasticity induced by abused drugs. We studied the expressions of FosB/DeltaFosB and c-Fos immunohistochemically in two dopaminergic brain areas, nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and caudate-putamen (CPu). In mice neither 2- nor 7-week oral nicotine treatment induced expression of long-lived DeltaFosB isoforms although during the treatment in the NAcc FosB/DeltaFosB expression was increased as was c-Fos in the CPu. In rats given nicotine subcutaneously once daily for 5days FosB/DeltaFosB expression was elevated in the NAcc still after 24-h withdrawal suggesting accumulation of DeltaFosB but in the CPu neither FosB/DeltaFosB nor c-Fos expression was altered. Thus, in rats repeated nicotine administration seems mainly affect the NAcc paralleling with the evidence that nicotine stimulates preferentially mesolimbic dopamine system. Also, repeated nicotine induced behavioural sensitization in rats agreeing with suggested role of DeltaFosB in the development of psychomotor sensitization. However, in mice given nicotine via drinking fluid although striatal fosB and c-fos were activated by nicotine even after 7-week treatment no evidence of accumulation of long-lived DeltaFosB was found suggesting perhaps a species difference or more likely a role for the manner of administration.

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