Oral sazetidine-A, a selective α4β2* nicotinic receptor desensitizing agent, reduces nicotine self-administration in rats.

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Sazetidine-A selectively desensitizes α4β2 nicotinic receptors and also has partial agonist effects. We have shown that subcutaneous acute and repeated injections as well as chronic infusions of sazetidine-A significantly reduce intravenous (IV) nicotine self-administration in rats. To further investigate the promise of sazetidine-A as a smoking cessation aid, it is important to determine sazetidine-A effects with oral administration and the time-effect function for its action on nicotine self-administration. Young adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to self-administer IV nicotine at the benchmark dose of 0.03 mg/kg/infusion dose in an operant FR1 schedule in 45-min sessions. After five sessions of training, they were tested for the effects of acute oral doses of sazetidine-A (0, 0.3, 1 and 3 mg/kg) given 30 min before testing. To determine the time-effect function, these rats were administered 0 or 3 mg/kg of sazetidine-A 1, 2, 4 or 23 h before the onset of testing. Our previous study showed that with subcutaneous injections, only 3 mg/kg of sazetidine-A significantly reduced nicotine self-administration, however, with oral administration of sazetidine-A lower dose of 1 mg/kg was also effective in reducing nicotine intake. A similar effect was seen in the time-effect study with 3 mg/kg of oral sazetidine-A causing a significant reduction in nicotine self-administration across all the time points of 1, 2, 4 or 23 h after oral administration. These results advance the development of sazetidine-A as a possible aid for smoking cessation by showing effectiveness with oral administration and persistence of the effect over the course of a day.





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Rezvani, Amir H, Corinne Wells, Susan Slade, Yingxian Xiao, Kenneth J Kellar and Edward D Levin (2019). Oral sazetidine-A, a selective α4β2* nicotinic receptor desensitizing agent, reduces nicotine self-administration in rats. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 179. pp. 109–112. 10.1016/j.pbb.2019.02.007 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29513.

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Edward Daniel Levin

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Levin is Chief of the Neurobehavioral Research Lab in the Psychiatry Department of Duke University Medical Center. His primary academic appointment is as Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He also has secondary appointments in the Department Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke. His primary research effort is to understand basic neural interactions underlying cognitive function and addiction and to apply this knowledge to better understand cognitive dysfunction and addiction disorders and to develop novel therapeutic treatments.

The three main research components of his laboratory are focused on the themes of the basic neurobiology of cognition and addiction, neurobehavioral toxicology and the development of novel therapeutic treatments for cognitive dysfunction and substance abuse. Currently, our principal research focus concerns nicotine. We have documented the basic effects of nicotine on learning memory and attention as well as nicotine self-administration. We are continuing with more mechanistic studies in rat models using selective lesions, local infusions and neurotransmitter interaction studies. We have found that nicotine improves memory performance not only in normal rats, but also in rats with lesions of hippocampal and basal forebrain connections. We are concentrating on alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptor subtypes in the hippocampus, amygdala , thalamus and frontal cortex and how they interact with dopamine D1 and D2 and glutamate NMDA systems with regard to memory and addiction. I am also conducting studies on human cognitive behavior. We have current studies to assess nicotine effects on attention, memory and mental processing speed in schizophrenia, Alzheimer's Disease and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In the area of neurobehavioral toxicology, I have continuing projects to characterize the adverse effects of prenatal and adolescent nicotine exposure. Our primary project in neurobehavioral toxicology focuses on the cognitive deficits caused by the marine toxins. The basic and applied aims of our research complement each other nicely. The findings concerning neural mechanisms underlying cognitive function help direct the behavioral toxicology and therapeutic development studies, while the applied studies provide important functional information concerning the importance of the basic mechanisms under investigation.

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