The actions of nicotine and cocaine in a mouse model of anxiety

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989 May;33(1):197-203. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(89)90450-4.


The acute administration of nicotine (0.01-1.0 mg/kg IP) to the mouse increased the time spent and rearings and line crossings in the aversive brightly illuminated white area of a two compartment white/black test box, with a corresponding decrease in the black. This profile of change was maintained during twice daily administration (0.1 mg/kg IP) for 14 days. Eight to 96 hr following withdrawal of nicotine (14-day treatment), the behavioural profile was reversed to a preference for the black area: by 240 hr values had returned to control levels. In contrast to the effects of nicotine, an acute injection of cocaine (0.1-10 mg/kg IP) exacerbated the aversive response to the white area. However, similarly to nicotine, the administration of cocaine (1.0 mg/kg IP) twice daily for 14 days reduced the aversion to the white area and exacerbated the response following cocaine withdrawal. The effects of nicotine and cocaine to reduce and enhance responsiveness to the aversive properties of the white area are discussed in terms of an anxiolytic and anxiogenic response and the possibility of a serotonergic involvement.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Light
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology


  • Nicotine
  • Cocaine