Regional differential effects of chronic nicotine on brain α4-containing and α6 -containing receptors

Naïla Even, Ana Cardona, Martine Soudant, Pierre Jean Corringer, Jean Pierre Changeux, Isabelle Cloëz-Tayarani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic nicotine upregulates central nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), a plasticity process thought to contribute to its addictive properties. To analyze this process in vivo, we chronically exposed mice to nicotine using minipump delivering nicotine at concentrations close to those found in tobacco smokers. Binding studies show upregulation of high-affinity nAChRs after 21 days of treatment in cortical areas, caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, ventral tegmental area, and superior colliculi. No upregulation was observed in thalamus and discrete cortical areas. Using wild type and α6-/- mice, we observed a downregulation of α6*- nAChRs in superior colliculi and no effects in other structures. The complex pattern of upregulation/downregulation observed in this study depends on both nAChR composition and regional distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1545-1550
Number of pages6
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2008


  • α6 nicotinic subunit
  • β2 nicotinic subunit
  • Nicotine
  • Nicotinic receptors
  • Upregulation


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