Chronic Nicotine Administration Differentially Affects Neurotransmitter Release from Rat Striatal Slices

Authors


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. L. Wecker at Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of South Florida College of Medicine, MDC Box 9, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612-4799, U.S.A.

Abstract

Abstract: The objective of these experiments was to determine whether the chronic administration of nicotine, at a dose regimen that increases the density of nicotine binding sites, alters the nicotine-induced release of [3H]dopamine ([3H]DA), [3H]norepinephrine ([3H]NE), [3H]serotonin ([3H]5-HT), or [3H]acetylcholine ([3H]ACh) from rat striatal slices. For these experiments, rats received subcutaneous injections of either saline or nicotine bitartrate [1.76 mg (3.6 µmol)/kg, dissolved in saline] twice daily for 10 days, and neurotransmitter release was measured following preloading of the tissues with [3H]DA, [3H]NE, [3H]5-HT, or [3H]choline. Chronic nicotine administration did not affect the accumulation of tritium by striatal slices, the basal release of radioactivity, or the 25 mM KCl-evoked release of neurotransmitter. Superfusion of striatal slices with 1, 10, and 100 µM nicotine increased [3H]DA release in a concentration-dependent manner, and release from slices from nicotine-injected animals was significantly (p < 0.05) greater than release from saline-injected controls; release from the former increased to 132, 191, and 172% of release from the controls following superfusion with 1, 10, and 100 µM nicotine, respectively. Similarly, [3H]5-HT release increased in a concentration-related manner following superfusion with nicotine, and release from slices from nicotine-injected rats was significantly (p < 0.05) greater than that from controls. [3H]5-HT release from slices from nicotine-injected rats evoked by superfusion with 1 and 10 µM nicotine increased to 453 and 217%, respectively, of release from slices from saline-injected animals. The nicotine-induced release of [3H]NE from striatal slices was also concentration dependent but was unaffected by chronic nicotine administration. [3H]ACh release from striatal slices could not be detected when samples were superfused with nicotine but was measurable when tissues were incubated with nicotine. The release of [3H]ACh from slices from nicotine-injected rats was significantly (p < 0.05) less than release from controls and decreased to 36, 83, and 77% of control values following incubation with 1, 10, or 100 µM nicotine, respectively. This decreased [3H]ACh release could not be attributed to methodological differences because slices from nicotine-injected rats incubated with nicotine exhibited an increased [3H]DA release, similar to results from superfusion studies. In addition, it is unlikely that the decreased release of [3H]ACh from striatal slices from nicotine-injected rats was secondary to increased DA release because [3H]ACh release from slices from hippocampus, which is not tonically inhibited by DA, also decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in response to nicotine; hippocampal slices from nicotine-injected rats incubated with 1 and 10 µM nicotine decreased to 42 and 70%, respectively, of release from slices from saline-injected animals. Results indicate that the chronic administration of nicotine increases the ability of nicotine to induce the release of [3H]DA and [3H]5-HT and decreases the ability of nicotine to evoke the release of [3H]ACh but does not alter the nicotine-induced release of [3H]NE from brain slices.

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