A neurotensin analog, NT69L, attenuates intravenous nicotine self-administration in rats

Mona Boules, Alfredo Oliveros, Yanqi Liang, Katrina Williams, Amanda Shaw, Jessica Robinson, Paul Fredrickson, Elliott Richelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


NT69L is a neurotensin analog that blocks nicotine-induced locomotor activity and has sustained efficacy in a rat model of nicotine-induced sensitization when administered peripherally. Additionally, NT69L attenuates food-reinforcement in rats. The present study tested the effect of acute administration of NT69L on nicotine self-infusion in Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were trained to self-infuse nicotine intravenously (0.03. mg/kg per infusion) following operant training. Once the rats acquired stable responding to nicotine self-infusion they were pretreated with NT69L (1. mg/kg, i.p.) or saline 30. min before being assessed for nicotine self-infusion. Pretreatment with NT69L significantly attenuated nicotine self-infusion under FR1 (fixed ratio of 1) and FR5 schedule of reinforcement as compared to saline pretreatment. Control rats that were response-independent "yoked" as well as rats that self-infused saline or NT69L showed minimal responses, indicating that nicotine served as a reinforcer.Additionally, NT69L modulated serum corticosterone; brain norepinephrine serotonin; and dopamine receptors mRNA levels altered in the nicotine self-infused rats after a 24. h withdrawal period. Pretreatment with NT69L significantly decreased the nicotine-induced increase in serum corticosterone levels and striatal norepinephrine and increased the nicotine-induced reduction in serotonin in both the striatum and the prefrontal cortex (PFC). NT69L might modulate dopamine neurotransmission implicated in the reinforcing effects of nicotine by modulating tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine receptor mRNA levels in the PFC and striatum. These data support further study of the effects of NT analogs on attenuating the reinforcing effects of psychostimulants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Dopamine receptors
  • Neurotensin
  • Nicotine self-administration
  • Norepinephrine
  • Rat
  • Reinforcing effect
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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