Chronic nicotine self-administration augments hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal responses to mild acute stress

Hao Chen, Yitong Fu, Burt Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the effect of chronic nicotine self-administration (SA) on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hormonal responses to acute stressors. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were given access to nicotine (0.03 mg/kg) for 23 h per day for 20 days. On day 1 of acquisition of nicotine SA, plasma levels of both adrenocorticotropin and corticosterone were significantly increased 15-30 min after the first dose of nicotine. These hormonal changes were no longer significant on day 3, when adrenocorticotropin levels were <60 pg/ml and corticosterone levels were <110 ng/ml during the hour after the first dose of nicotine. Chronic nicotine SA (20 days) significantly augmented (2-3-fold) both hormonal responses to mild foot shock stress (0.6 mA, 0.5 s per shock, 5 shocks per 5 min), but did not affect hormonal responses to moderate shock (1.2 mA, 0.5 s per shock, 5 shocks per 5 min), lipopolysaccharide or immobilization. Similar data were obtained in Lewis rats. These results provide further support for the concept that chronic nicotine SA is a stressor. In alignment with the effects of other stressors, nicotine activated the HPA axis on the first day of SA, but desensitization occurred with repeated exposure. Furthermore, chronic nicotine SA selectively cross-sensitized the HPA response to a novel stressor. These observations suggest that nicotine may selectively increase the HPA response to stressors in human smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-730
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

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Self Administration
Nicotine
Shock
Corticosterone
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Immobilization
Sprague Dawley Rats
Lipopolysaccharides
Foot

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Chronic nicotine self-administration augments hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal responses to mild acute stress. / Chen, Hao; Fu, Yitong; Sharp, Burt.

In: Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 33, No. 4, 01.03.2008, p. 721-730.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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