The present study examined a rapid and convenient model for evaluating nicotine dependence using the conditioned place preference paradigm. Rats were chronically infused subcutaneously with 9 mg/kg per day nicotine using an osmotic minipump. After nicotine infusion for 7 days, the nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine produced a place aversion in nicotine-dependent rats, but not in acute nicotine-treated rats or sham-operated rats. These results suggest that the mecamylamine-precipitated withdrawal aversion in rats chronically treated with nicotine may result from physical dependence on nicotine, and may be useful for studying the physical dependence on nicotine.
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