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The role of nicotinic receptor α7 subunits in nicotine discrimination

Stolerman, IP and Chamberlain, S and Bizarro, L and Fernandes, C and Schalkwyk, L (2004) 'The role of nicotinic receptor α7 subunits in nicotine discrimination.' Neuropharmacology, 46 (3). pp. 363-371. ISSN 0028-3908

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The subtypes of nicotinic receptors at which the behavioural effects of nicotine originate are not fully understood. The experiments described here use mice lacking the α7 subunit of nicotinic receptors to investigate the role of α7-containing receptors in nicotine discrimination. Wild-type and α7-knockout mice were trained in a two-lever nicotine discrimination procedure using a tandem schedule of food reinforcement. Mutant mice exhibited baseline rates of lever-pressing as low as 52.2% of rates in wild-type controls (n=21-24). Mutant and wild-type mice acquired discrimination of nicotine (0.4 or 0.8 mg/kg) at a similar rate (n=10-12) and reached similar final levels of accuracy (71.9±4.4% and 90.8±3.1% after 60 training sessions for 0.4 and 0.8 mg/kg training doses, respectively, in mutant mice, as compared with 75.0±6.5% and 87.6±4.8% for wild types). The genotypes exhibited similar steep dose-response curves for nicotine discrimination. In both genotypes, dose-response curves for mice trained with 0.8 mg/kg of nicotine were displaced three- to four-fold to the right as compared with those for the mice trained with the smaller dose. The predominant effect of nicotine on the overall rate of responding was a reduction at the largest doses tested and there was no difference between the genotypes. The results suggest that nicotinic receptors containing the α7 subunit do not contribute to the discriminative stimulus or response-rate-depressant effects of nicotine, although they may regulate baseline rates of operant responding. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: nicotine; behaviour; drug discrimination; nicotinic receptors; mice; genetic modification
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2015 20:35
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:32

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