Dynamic effects of ventral hippocampal NRG3/ERBB4 signaling on nicotine withdrawal-induced responses

Miranda L. Fisher, Emily R. Prantzalos, Bernadette O'Donovan, Tanner L. Anderson, Pabitra K. Sahoo, Jeffery L. Twiss, Pavel I. Ortinski, Jill R. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tobacco smoking remains a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, with approximately a 5% success rate for smokers attempting to quit. High relapse rates have been linked to several genetic factors, indicating that the mechanistic relationship between genes and drugs of abuse is a valuable avenue for the development of novel smoking cessation therapies. For example, various single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene for neuregulin 3 (NRG3) and its cognate receptor, the receptor tyrosine-protein kinase erbB-4 (ERBB4), have been linked to nicotine addiction. Our lab has previously shown that ERBB4 plays a role in anxiety-like behavior during nicotine withdrawal (WD); however, the neuronal mechanisms and circuit-specific effects of NRG3-ERBB4 signaling during nicotine and WD are unknown. The present study utilizes genetic, biochemical, and functional approaches to examine the anxiety-related behavioral and functional role of NRG3-ERBB4 signaling, specifically in the ventral hippocampus (VH) of male and female mice. We report that 24hWD from nicotine is associated with altered synaptic expression of VH NRG3 and ERBB4, and genetic disruption of VH ErbB4 leads to an elimination of anxiety-like behaviors induced during 24hWD. Moreover, we observed attenuation of GABAergic transmission as well as alterations in Ca2+-dependent network activity in the ventral CA1 area of VH ErbB4 knock-down mice during 24hWD. Our findings further highlight contributions of the NRG3-ERBB4 signaling pathway to anxiety-related behaviors seen during nicotine WD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109846
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • ErbB4
  • Neuregulin3
  • Nicotine withdrawal
  • Ventral hippocampus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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