Neuronal networks of nicotine addiction

Marcelo O. Ortells, Hugo R. Arias

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nicotine is the main psychoactive substance present in tobacco, targeting neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The main effects of nicotine associated with smoking are nicotinic receptor activation, desensitization, and upregulation, with the subsequent modulation of the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic system. However, there is a lack of a comprehensive explanation of their roles that effectively makes clear how nicotine dependence might be established on those grounds. Receptor upregulation is an unusual effect for a drug of abuse, because theoretically this implies less need for drug consumption. Receptor upregulation and receptor desensitization are commonly viewed as opposite, homeostatic mechanisms. We here review the available information on smoking addiction, especially under a recently presented model of nicotine dependence. In this model both receptor upregulation and receptor desensitization are responsible for establishing a biochemical mechanism of nicotine dependence, which have an important role in starting and maintaining tobacco addiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1931-1935
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Volume42
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Nicotine
Tobacco Use Disorder
Up-Regulation
Nicotinic Receptors
Tobacco
Smoking
Street Drugs
Chemical activation
Modulation
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Brain reward circuitry
  • Neuronal pathways
  • Nicotine dependence
  • Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
  • Smoking addiction

Cite this

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Neuronal networks of nicotine addiction. / Ortells, Marcelo O.; Arias, Hugo R.

In: International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Vol. 42, No. 12, 01.12.2010, p. 1931-1935.

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

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