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Brain Res. 2008 Sep 22;1231:6-15. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.07.037. Epub 2008 Jul 19.

Effect of a novel neurotensin analog, NT69L, on nicotine-induced alterations in monoamine levels in rat brain.

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Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory and Nicotine Dependence Center, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.


NT69L, is a novel neurotensin (8-13) analog that participates in the modulation of the dopaminergic pathways implicated in addiction to psychostimulants. NT69L blocks nicotine-induced hyperactivity as well as the initiation and expression of sensitization in rats. Recent evidence suggests that stimulation of mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, with influences from the other monoamine systems, e.g. norepinephrine and serotonin, is involved in nicotine's reinforcing properties. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of pretreatment with NT69L on nicotine-induced changes in monoamine levels in the rat brain using in vivo microdialysis. Acute or chronic (0.4 mg/kg, sc, once daily for 2 weeks) administration of nicotine elicited increases in extracellular levels of dopamine, dopamine metabolites, norepinephrine, or serotonin in medial prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens shell, and core of rats. Pretreatment with NT69L (1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, ip) administered 40 min before nicotine injection significantly attenuated the acute nicotine-evoked increases in norepinephrine levels in medial prefrontal cortex, dopamine and serotonin in nucleus accumbens shell. After chronic nicotine administration, pretreatment of NT69L markedly reversed the increase in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens core. NT69L's attenuation of some of the biochemical effects of acute and chronic nicotine is consistent with this peptide's attenuation of nicotine-induced behavioral effects. These data further support a role for NT69L or other neurotensin receptor agonists to treat nicotine addiction.

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