Social interaction promotes nicotine self-administration with olfactogustatory cues in adolescent rats

Hao Chen, Burt Sharp, Shannon G. Matta, Qingling Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cigarette smoking is a social behavior. Smoking is also accompanied by distinctive gustatory and olfactory stimulation. However, none of these factors affecting nicotine intake are modeled in existing preclinical studies. We report a novel model of adolescent nicotine self-administration (SA) in rats where licking on drinking spouts was used as the operant behavior to activate the concurrent delivery of nicotine (i.v.) and an appetitive olfactogustatory (OG) cue, and social interaction was required for stable SA. The operant chamber was divided by a panel that separated the SA rat and another rat serving as the demonstrator, who had free access to the OG cue but did not receive nicotine. Orofacial contacts were permitted by the divider. Conditioned taste aversion prevented solo rats to self-administer nicotine. However, stable nicotine (15-30 g/kg, free base) SA was established in the presence of demonstrator rats with free access to the OG cue. Omitting the olfactory component of the cue prevented the acquisition of nicotine SA. Mecamylamine, a nicotinic antagonist, reduced licking behavior. Familiar peers were more effective demonstrators in facilitating the acquisition of nicotine SA than were unfamiliar rats. No sex difference in nicotine intake was found. These data indicate that the contingent OG cue is associated with the aversive property of nicotine that prevents subsequent drug intake. Social information encoded in olfaction not only permits the establishment of stable nicotine SA but also enhances nicotine intake. These findings implicate adolescent social interactions in promoting smoking behavior by surmounting the aversive property of nicotine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2629-2638
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
Volume36
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

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Self Administration
Interpersonal Relations
Nicotine
Cues
Smoking
Nicotinic Antagonists
Mecamylamine
Smell
Social Behavior
Sex Characteristics
Drinking

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Social interaction promotes nicotine self-administration with olfactogustatory cues in adolescent rats. / Chen, Hao; Sharp, Burt; Matta, Shannon G.; Wu, Qingling.

In: Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 36, No. 13, 01.12.2011, p. 2629-2638.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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