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  • Some of the psychoactive actions of


    Some of the psychoactive actions of nicotine are mediated by the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic pathways (Di Chiara, 2000, Di Chiara et al., 2004). The nigrostriatal pathway originates in the dopaminergic neurons located in the substantia nigra and terminates in the putamen and nucleus caudatus which together constitute the dorsal striatum (Di Chiara, 2000, Di Chiara et al., 2004). The mesolimbic pathway arises from the dopaminergic neurons situated in the ventral tegmental area and projects to the nucleus accumbens that represents the CGS 21680 HCl ventral striatum (Di Chiara, 2000, Di Chiara et al., 2004). Classically, the nigrostriatal pathway controls motor behavior, posture and learning of motor programs and habits, whereas the mesolimbic pathway contributes to motor behavior by mediation of reward, emotion and motivation (Everitt and Robbins, 2013). Nevertheless, manipulations of dopamine release in the dorsal and ventral striatum affect motor behavior in distinct, but parallel ways, which depend upon the nature of the cortical and limbic input to these CGS 21680 HCl structures (Everitt and Robbins, 2013). Acute administration of nicotine increases the release of striatal dopamine that is associated with a sensation of reward and locomotor hyperactivity in rats (Fung and Lau, 1986, Fung and Lau, 1989). Chronic administration of nicotine also increases the striatal dopamine release, although its impact on the locomotor activity depends upon the dose and schedule of administration (Fung and Lau, 1991, Fung and Lau, 1992). Usually, continuous infusion of nicotine several times a day may induce tolerance, while repetitive injection once a day may produce sensitization to the effects of nicotine (Di Chiara, 2000, Di Chiara et al., 2004). Nicotine also augments glutamate release, which stimulates the release of dopamine, and GABA release, which inhibits the release of dopamine. With long-term exposure to nicotine, some nAchRs become desensitized, but some do not (Benowitz, 2008, Benowitz, 2010). As a result, GABAergic inhibitory tone diminishes, while glutamatergic excitation continues, thereby increasing excitation of dopaminergic neurons and enhancing responsiveness to nicotine (Benowitz, 2008, Benowitz, 2010). Acute withdrawal following chronic administration of nicotine causes a nicotine withdrawal syndrome that starts promptly within few hours and peaks around 24 h following cessation of chronic nicotine administration (Fung et al., 1996). The nicotine withdrawal syndrome in rats consists of a somatic component, characterized by locomotor hypoactivity, increased appetite and weight gain and an affective component, represented by anxiety, depression and reward deficit (Kenny and Markou, 2001). Some of the affective symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, may persist during chronic nicotine withdrawal (Kenny and Markou, 2001). The basis of nicotine addiction is a combination of positive reinforcement, given by the rewarding, positive effects of nicotine, and negative reinforcement, maintained by the avoidance of the aversive, negative effects of nicotine withdrawal (Benowitz, 2010). The changes of the dorsal and ventral striatal dopamine release can be partly or entirely implicated in both forms of reinforcement, and reflected in the changes of the horizontal and vertical locomotor activity (Di Chiara, 2000, Di Chiara et al., 2004). Therefore, these behavioral and neurochemical parameters can be considered important measures of nicotine addiction (Fung et al., 1996). The aim of the present study was to investigate the participation of CRF1 and CRF2 in the alterations of the dorsal and ventral striatal dopamine release and the vertical and horizontal locomotor activity observed in rats following chronic nicotine treatment and consequent acute withdrawal. In this purpose, male Wistar rats were exposed to repeated intraperitoneal (ip) injection with 1.4 mg/kg nicotine or saline solution for 7 days, two times/day (at 8:00 and at 20:00). Thus, 12 h passed between the nicotine treatments. This dose and schedule of administration should produce plasma nicotine levels in rats similar to plasma nicotine levels found in an individual who smokes 1–2 packs of cigarettes a day (Benowitz, 2008). In order to assess the behavioral and neurochemical changes induced by chronic nicotine treatment and acute nicotine withdrawal the rats were investigated on the morning of the 8th day (12 h after the last ip administration) and the 9th day (24 h after the last ip administration), respectively. Furthermore, the rats were injected intracerebroventricularly (icv) with selective CRF1 receptor antagonist antalarmin or selective CRF2 receptor antagonist astressin2B or saline solution on the 8th day or the 9th day. Thirty minutes after the icv injection the changes of the horizontal and vertical locomotor activity were recorded in an in vivo conducta system. Immediately after the behavioral recordings the changes of the dorsal and ventral striatal dopamine release were determined in an in vitro superfusion system.