An autoradiographic analysis of cholinergic receptors in mouse brain after chronic nicotine treatment

J. R. Pauly, M. J. Marks, S. D. Gross, A. C. Collins

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155 Scopus citations


Quantitative autoradiographic procedures were used to examine the effects of chronic nicotine infusion on the number of central nervous system nicotinic cholinergic receptors. Female DBA mice were implanted with jugular cannulas and infused with saline or various doses of nicotine (0.25, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 mg/kg/hr) for 10 days. The animals were then sacrificed and the brains were removed and frozen in isopentane. Cryostat sections were collected and prepared for autoradiographic procedures as previously described. Nicotinic cholinergic receptors were labeled with L-[3H]nicotine or α-[125l]bungarotoxin; [3H]quinuclidinyl benzilate was used to measure muscarinic cholinergic receptor binding. Chronic nicotine infusion increased the number of sites labeled by [3H]nicotine in most brain areas. However, the extent of the increase in binding as well as the dose-response curves for the increase were widely different among brain regions. After the highest treatment dose, binding was increased in 67 of 86 regions measured. Septal and thalamic regions were most resistant to change. Nicotinic binding measured by α-[125l]bungarotoxin also increased after chronic treatment, but in a less robust fashion. At the highest treatment dose, only 26 of 80 regions were significantly changed. Muscarinic binding was not altered after chronic nicotine treatment. These data suggest that brain regions are not equivalent in the mechanisms that regulate alterations in nicotinic cholinergic receptor binding after chronic nicotine treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1136
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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