Neurobiological Bases of Cue- and Nicotine-induced Reinstatement of Nicotine Seeking: Implications for the Development of Smoking Cessation Medications

Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 24)


A better understanding of the neurobiological factors that contribute to relapse to smoking is needed for the development of efficacious smoking cessation medications. Reinstatement procedures allow the preclinical assessment of several factors that contribute to relapse in humans, including re-exposure to nicotine via tobacco smoking and the presentation of stimuli that were previously associated with nicotine administration (i.e., conditioned stimuli). This review provides an integrated discussion of the results of animal studies that used reinstatement procedures to assess the efficacy of pharmacologically targeting various neurotransmitter systems in attenuating the cue- and nicotine-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking. The results of these animal studies have increased our understanding of the neurobiological processes that mediate the conditioned effects of stimuli that trigger reinstatement to nicotine seeking. Thus, these findings provide important insights into the neurobiological substrates that modulate relapse to tobacco smoking in humans and the ongoing search for novel efficacious smoking cessation medications.


Animal models Nicotine Cue-induced reinstatement Nicotine-induced reinstatement Drug seeking Medication development 



This work was supported by Postdoctoral Fellowship 21FT-0022 from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program to AKS and research grant R56 DA011946 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to AM. The authors would like to thank Ms. Janet Hightower for assistance with preparation of the figure and Mr. Michael Arends for editorial assistance.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and Systems TherapeuticsIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, M/C 0603, School of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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