Lasting synaptic changes underlie attention deficits caused by nicotine exposure during adolescence

Nat Neurosci. 2011 Apr;14(4):417-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.2770. Epub 2011 Feb 20.


Tobacco smoking and nicotine exposure during adolescence interfere with prefrontal cortex (PFC) development and lead to cognitive impairments in later life. The molecular and cellular underpinnings of these consequences remain elusive. We found that adolescent nicotine exposure induced lasting attentional disturbances and reduced mGluR2 protein and function on presynaptic terminals of PFC glutamatergic synapses. Restoring mGluR2 activity in vivo by local infusion of a group II mGluR agonist in adult rats that received nicotine as adolescents rescued attentional disturbances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / chemically induced*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Rats
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / complications
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / diagnosis
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / physiopathology*