Acute and chronic glutamate NMDA antagonist treatment attenuates dopamine D<sub>1</sub> antagonist-induced reduction of nicotine self-administration in female rats.

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Multiple interacting neural systems are involved in sustaining nicotine reinforcement. We and others have shown that dopamine D1 receptors and glutamate NMDA receptors both play important roles in nicotine reinforcement. Blockade of D1 receptors with the antagonist SCH-23390 (0.02 mg/kg) both acutely and chronically significantly decreased nicotine self-administration in rats. Blockade of NMDA receptors (10 mg/kg) acutely with memantine significantly increased nicotine self-administration, but chronic blockade of NMDA receptors with memantine significantly decreased nicotine self-administration. The current study examined the interactions of acute and chronic administration of SCH-23390 and memantine on nicotine self-administration in female rats. Replicating earlier studies, acute and chronic SCH-23390 significantly decreased nicotine self-administration and memantine had a biphasic effect with acute administration increasing nicotine self-administration and chronic memantine showed a non-significant trend toward decreasing it. However, chronic interaction study showed that memantine significantly attenuated the decrease in nicotine self-administration caused by chronic SCH-23390. These studies provide important information that memantine attenuates the efficacy of D1 antagonist SCH 23390 in reducing nicotine-self-administration. These two drugs do not appear to have mutually potentiating effects to aid tobacco cessation.





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Natarajan, Sarabesh, Grant Abass, Lucas Kim, Corinne Wells, Amir H Rezvani and Edward D Levin (2023). Acute and chronic glutamate NMDA antagonist treatment attenuates dopamine D1 antagonist-induced reduction of nicotine self-administration in female rats. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 234. p. 173678. 10.1016/j.pbb.2023.173678 Retrieved from

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Amir H. Rezvani

Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

My research and teaching interests have been primarily focused on the following areas:

Alcoholism: I work with "alcoholic" rats with genetic predisposition!" We use selectively-bred alcohol preferring rats as an animal model of human alcoholism for developing better pharmacological treatments for alcoholism. Recently, we are working on several novel promising "anti-craving" compounds for the treatment of alcoholism. We are also studying the interaction between alcohol drinking and nicotine intake.

Nicotine Addiction: We have been studying age and sex differences in i.v. nicotine self-administration in rats. We have found that pattern of drug intake is both age- and sex-dependent. Our lab is also exploring different neuronal targets for developing better pharmacologic treatment for nicotine addiction.

Sustained Attention: Another aspect of our research is studying the role of the neuronal nicotinic and other neuronal systems in sustained attention using a rodent model. We have shown, nicotine (not smoking!) and nicotinic compounds improve attention in rats. A majority of people with schizophrenia smoke and they smoke heavily. Thus, it is important to understand the interaction of antipsychotic medications and nicotine in sustained attention. This has been another aspect of our research with interesting results. Presently, we are testing novel nicotinic compounds for improving pharmacologically-impaired sustained attention.

Teaching: I love to teach and interact with students. Since arriving at Duke in 1999, I have been team-teaching the popular alcohol course (Psych 206-01R; Alcohol: Brain, Society and Individual). I also enjoy mentoring undergrad students who are interested in science and enjoy working in the lab with cute little creatures!.

Community: I am a member of the Board of Directors of Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA), a self-supported therapeutic community in Durham. I also give seminars and workshops on addiction around the country.

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