Nicotine Primes Brain for Cocaine Use

Man SniffingVia ScienceDaily:

Cigarettes and alcohol serve as gateway drugs, which people use before progressing to the use of marijuana and then to cocaine and other illicit substances; this progression is called the “gateway sequence” of drug use. An article in Science Translational Medicine by study author Denise Kandel, PhD, of the Mailman School of Public Health; and Amir Levine, MD; Eric Kandel, MD; and colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center provides the first molecular explanation for the gateway sequence. They show that nicotine causes specific changes in the brain that make it more vulnerable to cocaine addiction ― a discovery made by using a novel mouse model.

Alternate orders of exposure to nicotine and cocaine were examined. The authors found that pretreatment with nicotine greatly alters the response to cocaine in terms of addiction-related behavior and synaptic plasticity (changes in synaptic strength) in the striatum, a brain region critical for addiction-related rewards. On a molecular level, nicotine also primes the response to cocaine by inhibiting the activity of an enzym e― histone deacetylase ― in the striatum. This inhibition enhances cocaine’s ability to activate a gene called FosB gene, which promotes addiction.

The relationship between nicotine and cocaine was found to be unidirectional: nicotine dramatically enhances the response to cocaine, but there is no effect of cocaine on the response to nicotine …

Read more here.

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32 Responses to Nicotine Primes Brain for Cocaine Use

  1. Reasor November 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Scientists: We gave a mouse cigarettes and blow until it got hooked on cocaine.

    Concerned Parents’ Groups:  See?  SEE?

  2. Daniel Reasor November 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Scientists: We gave a mouse cigarettes and blow until it got hooked on cocaine.

    Concerned Parents’ Groups:  See?  SEE?

  3. Mr Willow November 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Yeah, but cocaine is less dangerous than marijuana (according to the FDA), so if it’s only cocaine, I guess we’re going to let it slide. . . right?

  4. Mr Willow November 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Yeah, but cocaine is less dangerous than marijuana (according to the FDA), so if it’s only cocaine, I guess we’re going to let it slide. . . right?

  5. Ronniedobbs November 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    So can we start suing tobacco and alcohol companies for drug addiction problems?

    • MoralDrift November 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

      i like your style

  6. Ronniedobbs November 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    So can we start suing tobacco and alcohol companies for drug addiction problems?

  7. Ronniedobbs November 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    So can we start suing tobacco and alcohol companies for drug addiction problems?

  8. Ronniedobbs November 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    So can we start suing tobacco and alcohol companies for drug addiction problems?

  9. Ronniedobbs November 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    So can we start suing tobacco and alcohol companies for drug addiction problems?

  10. Ronniedobbs November 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    So can we start suing tobacco and alcohol companies for drug addiction problems?

  11. Anonymous November 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    i like your style

  12. MoralDrift November 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I’d say nicotine is overall an enhancer/modulator of other drugs

  13. Anonymous November 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    I’d say nicotine is overall an enhancer/modulator of other drugs

  14. Trip November 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    I find this life a gateway to drugs.

  15. Trip November 5, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    I find this life a gateway to drugs.

  16. Malk November 6, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Education is a gateway to not being a fucking moron.

  17. Malk November 6, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Education is a gateway to not being a fucking moron.

  18. Malk November 5, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Education is a gateway to not being a fucking moron.

  19. Josh Adkisson November 6, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    Next they’ll be saying that premarital sex leads to cocaine use.

    After all, science serves only to reinforce God’s morality. Right guys?

  20. Josh Adkisson November 6, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    Next they’ll be saying that premarital sex leads to cocaine use.

    After all, science serves only to reinforce God’s morality. Right guys?

  21. Monkey See Monkey Do November 6, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Marijuana is a gateway to stronger psychedelics. Thats why there is so much fear about it by the establishment.

    Testing on animals in an attempt to explain the complicated and different inner-workings of the human brain is just ridiculous. And Sloppy Science.

    For fucks sake i would’ve volunteered!

    • Kylecoombes November 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

      I’m pretty sure that calling marijuana a gateway drug was pretty much entirely propaganda. The fact that the author mentioned so many drugs in an article about two indicates to me that he is probably a proud pusher of that propaganda. 

      Also, if you smoke tobacco, it is probably going to kill you. Getting hooked on cocaine is a pretty minor side effect.

      • Monkey See Monkey Do November 7, 2011 at 2:45 am #

        Calling Marijuana a gateway drug was most definetley propaganda. They tried to say it leads to ‘hard drugs’ like heroin.

        I dont consider psychedelics ‘hard drugs’, I consider them potential for further enlightenment. Now to draw a line between marijuana leading to stronger psychedelics is a just a theory and i admit that. Marijuana is a mild psychedlic and for those spiritually and entheogenically inclined it seems like a natural progression.  

        I definetley agree that this article is trying to push typical drug propanganda. Thanks for your insights.

  22. Monkey See Monkey Do November 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Marijuana is a gateway to stronger psychedelics. Thats why there is so much fear about it by the establishment.

    Testing on animals in an attempt to explain the complicated and different inner-workings of the human brain is just ridiculous. And Sloppy Science.

    For fucks sake i would’ve volunteered!

  23. Monkey See Monkey Do November 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Marijuana is a gateway to stronger psychedelics. Thats why there is so much fear about it by the establishment.

    Testing on animals in an attempt to explain the complicated and different inner-workings of the human brain is just ridiculous. And Sloppy Science.

    For fucks sake i would’ve volunteered!

  24. Kylecoombes November 7, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    I’m pretty sure that calling marijuana a gateway drug was pretty much entirely propaganda. The fact that the author mentioned so many drugs in an article about two indicates to me that he is probably a proud pusher of that propaganda. 

    Also, if you smoke tobacco, it is probably going to kill you. Getting hooked on cocaine is a pretty minor side effect.

  25. Monkey See Monkey Do November 7, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Calling Marijuana a gateway drug was most definetley propaganda. They tried to say it leads to ‘hard drugs’ like heroin.

    I dont consider psychedelics ‘hard drugs’, I consider them potential for further enlightenment. Now to draw a line between marijuana leading to stronger psychedelics is a just a theory and i admit that. Marijuana is a mild psychedlic and for those spiritually and entheogenically inclined it seems like a natural progression.  

    I definetley agree that this article is trying to push typical drug propanganda. Thanks for your insights.

  26. Johnnyutah November 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    I believe milk is a gateway drug. We all started on it before moving on to alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and eventually of course, horse tranquilizers.

  27. Johnnyutah November 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    I believe milk is a gateway drug. We all started on it before moving on to alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and eventually of course, horse tranquilizers.

  28. Anonymous November 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    “They show that nicotine causes specific changes in the brain that make it more vulnerable to cocaine addiction”
    Something in this sentence points out what I believe some people didn’t get. “makes it more vulnerable to cocaine addiction”

    You see, in the article they explain that nicotine use causes the reaction to using cocaine to be much more powerful, not that nicotine will give you an urge to snort cocaine.

    Technically this does not fall under the traditional “gateway drug” theory, as it does not make the user seek out other highs, as some would claim marijuana does.

  29. EXtraDonut November 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    “They show that nicotine causes specific changes in the brain that make it more vulnerable to cocaine addiction”
    Something in this sentence points out what I believe some people didn’t get. “makes it more vulnerable to cocaine addiction”

    You see, in the article they explain that nicotine use causes the reaction to using cocaine to be much more powerful, not that nicotine will give you an urge to snort cocaine.

    Technically this does not fall under the traditional “gateway drug” theory, as it does not make the user seek out other highs, as some would claim marijuana does.

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