Translational research in nicotine addiction

Miranda L. Fisher, James R. Pauly, Brett Froeliger, Jill R. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While commendable strides have been made in reducing smoking initiation and improving smoking cessation rates, current available smoking cessation treatment options are still only mildly efficacious and show substantial interindividual variability in their therapeutic responses. Therefore, the primary goal of preclinical research has been to further the understanding of the neural substrates and genetic influences involved in nicotine’s effects and reassess potential drug targets. Pronounced advances have been made by investing in new translational approaches and placing more emphasis on bridging the gap between human and rodent models of dependence. Functional neuroimaging studies have identified key brain structures involved with nicotine-dependence phenotypes such as craving, impulsivity, withdrawal symptoms, and smoking cessation outcomes. Following up with these findings, rodent-modeling techniques have made it possible to dissect the neural circuits involved in these motivated behaviors and ascertain mechanisms underlying nicotine’s interactive effects on brain structure and function. Likewise, translational studies investigating single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the cholinergic, dopaminergic, and opioid systems have found high levels of involvement of these neurotransmitter systems in regulating the reinforcing aspects of nicotine in both humans and mouse models. These findings and coordinated efforts between human and rodent studies pave the way for future work determining gene by drug interactions and tailoring treatment options to each individual smoker.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera039776
JournalCold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Translational research in nicotine addiction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this