Nicotinic receptors underlying nicotine dependence: Evidence from transgenic mouse models

Cassandra D. Gipson, Christie D. Fowler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Nicotine underlies the reinforcing properties of tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes. After inhalation and absorption, nicotine binds to various nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes localized on the pre- and postsynaptic membranes of cells, which subsequently leads to the modulation of cellular function and neurotransmitter signaling. In this chapter, we begin by briefly reviewing the current understanding of nicotine’s actions on nAChRs and highlight considerations regarding nAChR subtype localization and pharmacodynamics. Thereafter, we discuss the seminal discoveries derived from genetically modified mouse models, which have greatly contributed to our understanding of nicotine’s effects on the reward-related mesolimbic pathway and the aversion-related habenulo-interpeduncular pathway. Thereafter, emerging areas of research focusing on modulation of nAChR expression and/or function are considered. Taken together, these discoveries have provided a foundational understanding of various genetic, neurobiological, and behavioral factors underlying the motivation to use nicotine and related dependence processes, which are thereby advancing drug discovery efforts to promote long-term abstinence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
ISSN (Print)1866-3370
ISSN (Electronic)1866-3389

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.


  • Addiction
  • Brain
  • Nicotine
  • Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)
  • Tobacco cigarette
  • e-cigarette

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Nicotinic receptors underlying nicotine dependence: Evidence from transgenic mouse models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this