Translational research in nicotine dependence

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2013 Mar 1;3(3):a012153. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a012153.


Nicotine addiction accounts for 4.9 million deaths each year. Furthermore, although smoking represents a significant health burden in the United States, at present there are only three FDA-approved pharmacotherapies currently on the market: (1) nicotine replacement therapy, (2) bupropion, and (3) varenicline. Despite this obvious gap in the market, the complexity of nicotine addiction in addition to the increasing cost of drug development makes targeted drug development prohibitive. Furthermore, using combinations of mouse and human studies, additional treatments could be developed from off-the-shelf, currently approved medication lists. This article reviews translational studies targeting manipulations of the cholinergic system as a viable therapeutic target for nicotine addiction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / biosynthesis
  • Acetylcholine / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nicotine / pharmacology
  • Nicotinic Agonists / pharmacology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / metabolism
  • Rodentia
  • Smoking / genetics
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Translational Medical Research*


  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • Nicotine
  • Acetylcholine