Evaluation of Rhodiola rosea L. extract on affective and physical signs of nicotine withdrawal in mice

J Psychopharmacol. 2011 Mar;25(3):402-10. doi: 10.1177/0269881109348166. Epub 2009 Nov 25.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a Rhodiola rosea L. extract on the prevention of the development of nicotine dependence and for the reduction of abstinence suffering following nicotine cessation in mice. Dependence was induced in mice by subcutaneous injections of nicotine (2 mg/kg, 4 times/day) for eight days. Spontaneous abstinence syndrome was evaluated 20 h after the last nicotine administration, by analysis of withdrawal signs, as affective (anxiety-like behaviour) and physical (somatic signs and locomotor activity). Rhodiola rosea L. extract was administered orally during nicotine treatment (10, 15 and 20 mg/kg) or during nicotine withdrawal (20 mg/kg). Results show that both affective and somatic signs (head shaking, paw tremors, body tremors, ptosis, jumping, piloerection and chewing) induced by nicotine withdrawal are abolished by administration of Rhodiola rosea L. extract in a dose-dependent fashion, during both nicotine exposure and nicotine cessation. In conclusion, our data encourage additional studies to define the use of R. rosea L. as a therapeutic approach in the treatment of smoking cessation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Nicotinic Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Nicotinic Agonists / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rhodiola / chemistry*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control


  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Plant Extracts
  • Nicotine