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Exp Neurol. 1995 Dec;136(2):261-5.

(-)-nicotine protects against systemic kainic acid-induced excitotoxic effects.

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Department of Surgery, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa 33612, USA.


(-)-Nicotine was shown to produce in vivo protection against neurobehavioral effects caused by systemically administered kainic acid (KA), an excitotoxin that has been widely used to induce temporal lobe convulsions including "wet dog shakes" in experimental animals. Rats pretreated with (-)-nicotine (0.5 mg/kg sc) 15 min before receiving KA (12.0 mg/kg sc) exhibited a marked reduction (P < 0.5) in the number of wet dog shakes when compared to saline-pretreated rats. Similarly, little visible brain damage was found in the (-)-nicotine-pretreated rats, but a widespread reduction in acetylcholinesterase-positive neurons was noted in the hippocampal areas of the saline-pretreated animals. While the mechanism of neuroprotection of (-)-nicotine is still not known, these findings suggest that (-)-nicotine may act as a therapeutic agent for putative excitotoxin-mediated disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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