The low sensitivity (α4)3(β2)2 (LS) and high sensitivity (α4)2(β2)3 (HS) nAChR isoforms may contribute to a variety of brain functions, pathophysiological processes, and pharmacological effects associated with nicotine use. In this study, we examined the contributions of the LS and HS α4β2 nAChR isoforms in nicotine self-administration, withdrawal symptoms, antinociceptive and hypothermic effects. We utilized two nAChR positive allosteric modulators (PAMs): desformylflustrabromine (dFBr), a PAM of both the LS and HS α4β2 nAChRs, and CMPI, a PAM selective for the LS nAChR. We found that dFBr, but not CMPI, decreased intravenous nicotine self-administration in male mice in a dose-dependent manner. Unlike dFBr, which fully reverses somatic and affective symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, CMPI at doses up to 15 mg/kg in male mice only partially reduced nicotine withdrawal-induced somatic signs, anxiety-like behavior and sucrose preference, but had no effects on nicotine withdrawal-induced hyperalgesia. These results indicate that potentiation of HS α4β2 nAChRs is necessary to modulate nicotine’s reinforcing properties that underlie nicotine intake and to reverse nicotine withdrawal symptoms that influence nicotine abstinence. In contrast, both dFBr and CMPI enhanced nicotine’s hypothermic effect and reduced nicotine’s antinociceptive effects in male mice. Therefore, these results indicate a more prevalent role of HS α4β2 nAChR isoforms in mediating various behavioral effects associated with nicotine, whereas the LS α4β2 nAChR isoform has a limited role in mediating body temperature and nociceptive responses. These findings will facilitate the development of more selective, efficacious, and safe nAChR-based therapeutics for nicotine addiction treatment.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.