Year of Publication

2013

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Lori Lange

Second Advisor

Dr. Mona Boules

Department Chair

Dr. Michael Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hentrick

Abstract

The co-dependence of nicotine and alcohol addiction occurs at high rates, complicates treatment, and is often associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Treatment options of alcohol and tobacco co-dependence are limited. Currently, there are drugs available for nicotine dependence or alcohol dependence. However, there are no therapeutic drugs available on the market for the co-dependence of nicotine and alcohol. Therefore, and important opportunity of new therapeutic options and drug development has presented itself. NT69L, a non-selective neurotensin (NT) agonist, provides a potential novel therapy for nicotine addiction in alcoholics by interacting with the common neurotransmitter circuits supporting the rewarding process for both nicotine and alcohol. Considering the behavioral effects of NT69L in attenuating nicotine self-administration in rats and alcohol consumption in mice, the present study was designed to assess the effects of NT69L as a new drug. NT69L was used in the treatment of nicotine addiction in an animal model of alcoholics and in attempts to attenuate withdrawal signs associated with nicotine and alcohol dependence. Wistar rats pre-exposed to alcohol vapor or air were allowed to self-infuse nicotine (0.03mg/kg/infusion) or saline. When the rats reached a stable level of responding, the effect of pretreatment with NT69L (1mg/kg i.p.) on the reinforcing effect of nicotine was determined. Animals self-infused nicotine at a significantly (p < .05) higher rate compared to saline in both air and alcohol vapor exposed groups. Acute pretreatment with a single injection of NT69L significantly (p < .05) reduced nicotine self-infusion in both the alcohol vapor and the air exposed groups for 5 days post-injection. Additionally, NT69L attenuated the alcohol- and nicotine-induced withdrawal signs associated with the discontinuation of alcohol and nicotine administration. Neurotensin agonist, NT69L, may represent a potential novel therapy to treat the co-addiction of alcohol and nicotine.

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