Chronic nicotine treatment eliminates asymmetry in striatal glucose utilization following unilateral transection of the mesostriatal dopamine pathway in rats

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Partial hemitransection was performed through a knife lesion at the meso-diencephalic level in rats to sever the mesostriatal dopamine system. During the subsequent 2 weeks the animals received 0.125 mg/kg/h of nicotine continuously via an osmotic minipump implanted s.c. To achieve prompt high nicotine levels, 4 i.p. injections of 0.5 mg/kg nicotine were, in addition, given during the first 2 h following the lesion. The total treatment corresponded to a mean plasma level of 50 ng/ml nicotine, measured at the end of the experiment. Control animals received corresponding volumes of 0.9% saline. Quantitative autoradiographic analysis of the glucose utilization in the caudate nucleus using Sokoloff's [14C]2-deoxyglucose method demonstrated a 16% side-to-side difference in the lesioned control animals, whereas the asymmetry was counteracted by the nicotine treatment. Although there was an overall tendency to a lower rate of glucose utilization (by 6%) in the nicotine-treated animals compared to the controls receiving saline only, the difference was not statistically significant. The eliminated asymmetry probably reflects an increased survival of the dopamine neurons and/or of striatal nerve cells on the lesioned side due to protective effects of nicotine resulting from desensitization of nicotinic-type cholinergic receptors following continuous administration of the drug.


  • Christer Owman
  • K Fuxe
  • A M Janson
  • J Kahrstrom
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Neurovetenskaper


Sidor (från-till)279-283
TidskriftNeuroscience Letters
Utgåva nummer2-3
StatusPublished - 1989
Peer review utfördJa