Molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of nicotine in the CNS

Jacques Barik, Susan Wonnacott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nicotine achieves its psychopharmacological effects by interacting with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain. There are numerous subtypes of nAChR that differ in their properties, including their sensitivity to nicotine, permeability to calcium and propensity to desensitise. The nAChRs are differentially localised to different brain regions and are found on presynaptic terminals as well as in somatodendritic regions of neurones. Through their permeability to cations, these ion channel proteins can influence both neuronal excitability and cell signalling mechanisms, and these various responses can contribute to the development or maintenance of dependence. However, many questions and uncertainties remain in our understanding of these events and their relevance to tobacco addiction. In this chapter, we briefly overview the fundamental characteristics of nAChRs that are germane to nicotine's effects and then consider the cellular responses to acute and chronic nicotine, with particular emphasis on dopamine systems because they have been the most widely studied in the context of nicotine dependence. Where appropriate, methodological aspects are critically reviewed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNicotine Psychopharmacology
EditorsJ E Henningfield, E D London, S Pogun
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherSpringer
Pages173-207
Number of pages35
Volume192
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
PublisherSpringer

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of nicotine in the CNS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Barik, J., & Wonnacott, S. (2009). Molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of nicotine in the CNS. In J. E. Henningfield, E. D. London, & S. Pogun (Eds.), Nicotine Psychopharmacology (Vol. 192, pp. 173-207). (Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-69248-5_7