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Methods Mol Biol. 2012;829:257-68. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-458-2_16.

Animal models of nicotine withdrawal: intracranial self-stimulation and somatic signs of withdrawal.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.


Tobacco addiction is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide. Despite the negative health outcomes of tobacco use and a desire to quit, there is a low success rate of maintaining abstinence. Nicotine, the main psychoactive component of tobacco smoke, is mildly rewarding and maintains smoking behavior. Nicotine withdrawal induces somatic symptoms that may contribute to smoking behavior. However, it has been hypothesized that the negative affective signs are of greater motivational significance in contributing to relapse and continued tobacco use than the somatic symptoms of nicotine withdrawal (Markou and Koob (Eds.) Intracranial self-stimulation thresholds as a measure of reward, Vol. 2, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993; Koob et al. Semin Neurosci 5: 351-358, 1993). Intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) has been established as a method to assess the bivalent properties of nicotine exposure and withdrawal from acute and chronic nicotine administration. Thus, ICSS provides a means to measure the negative affective aspects of nicotine withdrawal in animal models and may contribute to the understanding of the neurobiological bases of nicotine dependence and the development of effective treatment strategies to facilitate nicotine abstinence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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