Navigation Links
NIH study examines nicotine as a gateway drug
Date:11/2/2011

A landmark study in mice identifies a biological mechanism that could help explain how tobacco products could act as gateway drugs, increasing a person's future likelihood of abusing cocaine and perhaps other drugs as well, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study is the first to show that nicotine might prime the brain to enhance the behavioral effects of cocaine.

The gateway drug model is based upon epidemiological evidence that most illicit drug users report use of tobacco products or alcohol prior to illicit drug use. This model has generated significant controversy over the years, mostly relating to whether prior drug exposure (to nicotine, alcohol or marijuana) is causally related to later drug use. Before now, studies have not been able to show a biological mechanism by which nicotine exposure could increase vulnerability to illicit drug use.

In the current study, by researchers at Columbia University, New York City, and published in today's Science Translational Medicine, mice exposed to nicotine in their drinking water for at least seven days showed an increased response to cocaine. This priming effect depended on a previously unrecognized effect of nicotine on gene expression, in which nicotine changes the structure of the tightly packaged DNA molecule, reprograms the expression pattern of specific genes, in particular the FosB gene that has been related to addiction, and ultimately alters the behavioral response to cocaine.

To examine whether the results from this study paralleled findings in humans, the researchers reexamined statistics from the 2003 National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Related Consequences to explore the relationship between onset of nicotine use and degree of cocaine dependence. They found that the rate of cocaine dependence was higher among cocaine users who smoked prior to starting cocaine compared to those who tried cocaine prior to smoking.

These findings in mice suggest that if nicotine has similar effects in humans, effective smoking prevention efforts would not only prevent the negative health consequences associated with smoking but could also decrease the risk of progression and addiction to cocaine and possibly other illicit drug use. In the meantime, this mouse model provides a new mechanism to study the gateway theory from a biological perspective.

"Now that we have a mouse model of the actions of nicotine as a gateway drug this will allow us to explore the molecular mechanisms by which alcohol and marijuana might act as gateway drugs," said Eric Kandel, M.D., of Columbia University Medical Center and a senior author of the study. "In particular, we would be interested in knowing if there is a single, common mechanism for all gateway drugs or if each drug utilizes a distinct mechanism."


'/>"/>
Contact: NIDA Press Team
media@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... , ... SABRE is raising awareness about personal safety with a Chicago Transit ... , The Chicago, Illinois, based self-defense brand has been waiting for an opportunity like ... taking their personal safety into their own hands. , The ads focus on their ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... Report**, http://www.fdanews.com/products/54818-promotional-communication      , In the competitive world of drug and device ... staying in compliance with FDA rules. , The FDA has issued two draft ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Demonstrating a ... public health departments have been awarded five-year accreditation status through the Public ... of being served by a PHAB-accredited health department now extend to more ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... ... In addition to sticking with the new years goal ... use natural alternatives for all house cleaning products, disinfectants, respiratory relief, and much ... new line of essential oils, are all 100% organic and natural. , Combine ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a ... of Yie-Hsin Hung to the Board of Directors. , “The New England Center ... Hung is an invaluable addition to our team,” said Vincent Strully, Jr., President and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/6/2017)... 2017 Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... data for galcanezumab and lasmiditan, two investigational treatments for ... Society (IHC) taking place Sept. 7-10 in ... new, long-term data from an open-label study evaluating the ... mg and 240 mg) for the prevention of migraine. ...
(Date:9/5/2017)...  Getinge, a leading global provider of innovative ... program -- "Color for the Kids!" -- to ... by The Children,s Heart Foundation. Pediatric patients and ... encouraged to download a coloring picture at ... the gallery on the website. For each artwork ...
(Date:9/1/2017)... Michael Penna , President and CEO ... for growth in his response to the July 13, ... seeking a buyer for eMDs. Penna,s company, Complete HealthCare ... Value Added Reseller and national leader in the independent ... "As the healthcare market continues to dictate consolidation, healthcare ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: