The effects of single intraperitoneal injections of nicotine (1 mg/kg) and the sedative-hypnotic drug pentobarbitone (30 mg/kg) alone or in combination have been studied on catecholamine (CA) nerve terminal system of the hypothalamus and the forebrain and on the adenohypophyseal hormone secretion of the normal male rat. Nicotine produced discrete reductions of dopamine (DA) levels and increases of DA turnover in striatal and limbic areas of the forebrain and increases of amine turnover in different hypothalamic noradrenaline (NA) nerve terminal systems. These effects were all antagonized by simultaneous treatment with pentobarbitone. Pentobarbitone alone, however, did not modulate CA levels or turnover in the various parts of the hypothalamus and forebrain analyzed. On the other hand, pentobarbitone increased GH and prolactin secretion and in association with tyrosine hydroxylase inhibition markedly reduced corticosterone secretion. These effects were partly counteracted by nicotine in the case of GH and prolactin secretion. Furthermore, a positive interaction appears to exist between nicotine and pentobarbitone in their actions on LH secretion. The results suggest that pentobarbitone can antagonize the actions of nicotine on CA levels and turnover in various CA nerve terminal systems of the brain leading to possible reductions in nicotine induced arousal and positive reinforcement. The neuroendocrine actions of pentobarbitone do not seem to be greatly modulated through nicotinic cholinergic receptors.
- Adenohypophyseal hormones
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