The nicotine in tobacco is thought to modulate neuronal systems regulating mood. Moreover, it appears possible that blockade rather than activation of beta2-containing (beta2*) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) may lead to antidepressant-like effects. We used cytisine, a partial agonist of alpha4/beta2*nAChRs and a full agonist at alpha3/beta4*nAChRs, in several tests of antidepressant efficacy. Further, we used c-fos expression to identify potential neurobiological correlates of the antidepressant-like effects of cytisine. Cytisine had antidepressant-like effects in several animal models of antidepressant efficacy. In addition, immunohistochemical analyses indicated that cytisine could reduce c-fos immunoreactivity in the basolateral amygdala by approximately 50%. These data show that cytisine acts like classical antidepressants in rodent models of antidepressant efficacy. In addition, cytisine's ability to block alpha4/beta2*nAChRs may be responsible for its antidepressant-like properties, and these may be mediated through a reduction of neuronal activity in the basolateral amygdala. These studies also suggest that both antagonists and partial agonists of alpha4/beta2*nAChRs would be interesting targets for the development of novel antidepressant drugs.