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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Sep;229(1):31-40. doi: 10.1007/s00213-013-3081-1. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

The effect of nicotine on sensorimotor gating is modulated by a CHRNA3 polymorphism.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany. nadine.petrovsky@uni-bonn.de

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response, a measure of sensorimotor gating, can be enhanced by nicotine. Moreover, the TT genotype of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α3-subunit (CHRNA3) rs1051730 polymorphism has previously been associated with diminished PPI and nicotine dependence.

OBJECTIVES:

We tested whether this CHRNA3 polymorphism also modulates the nicotine-induced enhancement of PPI.

METHODS:

We assessed the effect of nicotine on PPI, startle reactivity, and habituation in 52 healthy nonsmoking volunteers genotyped for CHRNA3 rs1051730 in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced, within-subjects design. Additionally, cotinine plasma levels were measured.

RESULTS:

Nicotine significantly enhanced PPI in TT homozygotes only and tended to worsen PPI in TC and CC carriers. Additionally, nicotine significantly reduced startle habituation.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present findings imply that the effect of nicotine on sensorimotor gating is modulated by nAChR α3-subunits. Thus, genetic variation in nicotinic receptor genes might be an important connecting link between early attentional processes and smoking behavior.

PMID:
23604333
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-013-3081-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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