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Deficits in a sustained attention task following nicotine withdrawal in rats

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mohammed Shoaib


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Objective: Behavioural consequences of spontaneous and antagonist- precipitated withdrawal from nicotine upon performance of rats were compared alongside non-nicotinic antagonists in the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT). Methods: Male hooded Lister rats were trained to detect and respond to brief flashes of light presented every 15 s in one of five holes until a stable level of performance was achieved. Results: Surgical removal of osmotic minipumps from rats having received nicotine (3.16 mg/kg per day base SC) chronically for 7 days produced marked deficits in performance. Compared to saline-treated controls, deficits were apparent 10 h and 16 h following nicotine abstinence; the percentage of omission errors increased concomitantly with modest decreases in response accuracy. Tests conducted 34 h and 106 h post-withdrawal indicated a progressive and complete recovery in attention performance, respectively. In another experiment, following the exposure to the same nicotine regime, administration of the competitive nicotine receptor antagonist dihydro-β-erythroidine precipitated immediate deficits in performance that were greater than those observed in saline-treated subjects. Methyllycaconitine, an α7 nicotinic receptor antagonist failed to precipitate attention deficits in nicotine-treated rats. Tests with SCH23390 and raclopride produced impairments that were similar in profile to nicotine withdrawal contrasting with non-specific effects of dizocilpine. Conclusions: These results provide evidence of a cognitive impairment resulting from nicotine deprivation in rodents. Specifically, blockade of D1 receptors by SCH23390 produced decrements in performance that were qualitatively similar but greater in magnitude to the alterations observed following nicotine withdrawal. Overall, assessing nicotine withdrawal in the 5-CSRTT presents an animal model that exhibits robust construct and face validity. © Springer-Verlag 2004.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shoaib M, Bizarro L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psychopharmacology

Year: 2005

Volume: 178

Issue: 2-3

Pages: 211-222

ISSN (print): 0033-3158

ISSN (electronic): 1432-2072

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00213-004-2004-6

PubMed id: 15338107


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