Abstract

Nicotine, one of the compounds that alter brain function, has been shown to have diverse actions in the CNS. Although there has been considerable interest in the effects of nicotine and tobacco smoking in man and other species, the mechanisms and sites of action of nicotine in the brain are not clearly understood. It has been shown in many experiments that nicotine can influence behavior. Examples are the facilitatory effect of nicotine on self-stimulation,1 the dose-dependent facilitation of avoidance learning,2 the increased performance of learned tasks, and the decrease of task acquisition.3 Improved memory retention after nicotine administration has been suggested to be related to nicotine’s stimulant properties, altering the arousal state after training,4 and not to direct effects on the rate of protein synthesis. Although nicotine reverses the amnestic effects of cycloheximide treatment,5 reversal of the inhibition of protein synthesis is not involved.6 Nicotine increases the release of several biogenic amines and neuropeptides; release of norepinephrine and hydroxytryptamine is increased in brain homogenates,7 and release from the pituitary of ACTH8 and vasopressin9 is also increased. During fetal development, nicotine may affect brain function and development,10 possibly as a result of decreased protein synthesis.11,12

Keywords

Facilitatory Effect Nicotinic Receptor Chronic Nicotine Nicotine Administration Nicotinic Cholinergic Receptor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Sershen
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for NeurochemistryThe Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric ResearchWards IslandUSA

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