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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of protracted nicotine exposure and withdrawal on the expression and phosphorylation of the CREB gene transcription factor in rat brain.

Addiction to nicotine may result in molecular adaptations in the neurocircuitry of specific brain structures via changes in the cyclic AMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB)-dependent gene transcription program. We therefore investigated the effects of chronic nicotine exposure and its withdrawal on CREB and phosphorylated CREB (p-CREB) protein levels in the rat brain. We report here that chronic nicotine exposure (1-h withdrawal) had no effect on the expression of CREB and p-CREB in the rat cortex and amygdala. On the other hand, decreases in the expression of CREB protein and phosphorylation of CREB occur in the cingulate gyrus, and in the parietal and the piriform but not in the frontal cortex during nicotine withdrawal (18 h) after nicotine exposure. It was also observed that CREB and p-CREB protein levels were significantly decreased in the medial and basolateral, but not in the central amygdala during nicotine withdrawal (18 h) after chronic nicotine exposure. Furthermore, it was found that nicotine withdrawal (18 h) after chronic nicotine exposure leads to decreased CRE-DNA binding without modulating cAMP-dependent protein kinase A activity in the cortex and the amygdala of rats. In addition, chronic nicotine treatment produced anxiolytic effects whereas nicotine withdrawal (18 h) produced anxiety in rats as measured by the elevated plus-maze test. These results provide the first evidence that decreased CREB activity and/or expression in specific cortical and amygdaloid brain structures may be involved in the underlying molecular mechanisms of nicotine dependence.[1]


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