Long-lasting Behavioural and Neuroendocrine Effects of Individual or Combined Adolescent Nicotine and Footshock Exposure.

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Renda, Briana
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University of Guelph

Adolescent cigarette smoking has declined over the past decade, however nicotine vaping has gained popularity. Adolescence is a critical period for nicotine initiation; early initiation is associated with increased risk of dependence. A bidirectional relationship between stress and nicotine exists as perceived stress is a predictor for, and stress reduction is a commonly reported reason for nicotine use. Here, rats were exposed to high-dose nicotine, footshock, or the combination throughout adolescence and assessed in adulthood on nicotine consumption, anxiety-like behaviour, and stress responsivity. The combination of adolescent nicotine and stress increased nicotine consumption in adulthood without altering baseline anxiety-like behaviour or corticosterone levels. These results indicate that adults with a previous history of adolescent nicotine and stress may be at an increased risk of nicotine use. Given current trends in adolescent nicotine use, preventing a surge in future adult nicotine use and appropriate therapies to treat those individuals is crucial.

Adolescence, nicotine, stress, footshock, IV self administration, anxiety