Nicotine exposure affects food response

September 6, 2005

Yale University researchers say nicotine exposure in mice can increase their motivation to respond to food for weeks after their last exposure to nicotine. The finding, said the scientists, runs counter to the popular belief that nicotine exposure curbs appetite and sheds new light on the role played by certain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors involved in reinforcing aspects of nicotine.

Darlene Brunzell, an associate psychiatry research scientist and first author of the study, said the findings provide insight into one of the most vexing issues relating to smoking cessation -- the prospect of weight gain.

"Although acute nicotine can act as an appetite suppressant, these data are the first to suggest repeated exposure to nicotine has the opposite effect, that nicotine increases motivation for food for weeks following exposure to the drug," she said.

Stephanie O'Malley, professor of psychiatry and principal investigator for the Center for Nicotine & Tobacco Use Research at Yale said, "More research is needed to determine how exactly that works, but this does show that there could be a connection between exposure to nicotine and subsequent weight gain in some individuals."

The findings are to be detailed in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychopharmacology.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: E-cigarettes may harm teens' lung health

Related Stories

E-cigarettes may harm teens' lung health

November 17, 2016

E-cigarette use among teenagers is growing dramatically, and public health experts are concerned that these devices may be a gateway to smoking. Now, new research indicates that even if these young e-cigarette users do not ...

Hazardous chemicals discovered in flavored e-cigarette vapor

November 10, 2016

Building on more than 30 years of air quality research in some of the most polluted urban environments on Earth, a team of atmospheric scientists at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) have turned their attention toward the ...

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.