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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2014 May;120:103-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2014.02.011. Epub 2014 Feb 21.

Differential effects of non-nicotine tobacco constituent compounds on nicotine self-administration in rats.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. Electronic address:


Tobacco smoking has been shown to be quite addictive in people. However, nicotine itself is a weak reinforcer compared to other commonly abused drugs, leading speculation that other factors contribute to the high prevalence of tobacco addiction in the human population. In addition to nicotine, there are over 5000 chemical compounds that have been identified in tobacco smoke, and more work is needed to ascertain their potential contributions to tobacco's highly addictive properties, or as potential candidates for smoking cessation treatment. In this study, we examined seven non-nicotine tobacco constituent compounds (anabasine, anatabine, nornicotine, myosmine, harmane, norharmane, and tyramine) for their effects on nicotine self-administration behavior in rats. Young adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were allowed to self-administer nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/50 μl infusion) under a fixed ratio-1 schedule of reinforcement. Each self-administration session lasted 45 min. Doses of each tobacco constituent compound were administered subcutaneously 10 min prior to the start of each session in a repeated measures, counterbalanced order two times. Anabasine displayed a biphasic dose-effect function. Pretreatment with 0.02 mg/kg anabasine resulted in a 25% increase in nicotine self-administration, while 2.0mg/kg of anabasine reduced nicotine infusions per session by over 50%. Pretreatment with 2.0mg/kg anatabine also significantly reduced nicotine self-administration by nearly half. These results suggest that some non-nicotine tobacco constituents may enhance or reduce nicotine's reinforcing properties. Also, depending upon the appropriate dose, some of these compounds may also serve as potential smoking cessation agents.


Anabasine; Anatabine; Harmane; Nicotine; Norharmane; Self-administration

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