Adrenocortical hormone regulation of nicotine sensitivity in mice

James R. Pauly, Elizabeth A. Ullman, Allan C. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The possibility that nicotine-induced corticosterone (CCS) release regulates nicotine sensitivity was investigated in female mice of the C3H strain. Adrenalectomy (ADX) resulted in an increase in nicotine sensitivity as measured in a number of physiological and behavioral tests. In ADX animals, chronic CCS (100 μg/ml) administered in the drinking solution normalized nicotine sensitivity. Dexamethasone (DEX), a potent synthetic glucocorticoid which interacts with a distinct population of CNS steroid receptors, did not reverse the effects of ADX. Unoperated animals administered CCS (200 μg/ml) were protected from the effects of nicotine for several test battery parameters. ADX had no effect on the number of brain nicotinic cholinergic receptors and also did not alter nicotine metabolism. These data support the hypothesis that CCS secretion modulates nicotine sensitivity in the mouse; however, the mechanisms by which this regulation occurs are unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the advice and counsel of Dr. Michael J. Marks. This research was supported by the NICHD training grant HD-07289 and also by a grant from the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.


  • Adrenalectomy
  • Corticosterone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Nicotine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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