Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Nicotine Addiction

Dustin J. Stairs, Megan Kangiser, Tyson Hickle, Charles S. Bockman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The aim of this chapter is to summarize the research investigating the effects of environmental enrichment on the behavioral and neural effects of nicotine and integrate the limited nicotine data with the larger existing data of how environmental enrichment alters sensitivity to other abused psychostimulants. Environmental enrichment decreases the sensitivity to both acute and repeated nicotine-induced locomotor stimulatory effects. Also, environmental enrichment decreases the sensitivity to the discriminative stimulus properties of nicotine similar to those seen with amphetamine. Likewise, environmental enrichment appears to increase sensitivity to nicotine conditioned place preference, similar to what has been found previously with amphetamine. The ability of environmental enrichment to alter the neural effects of nicotine appears to be mediated through changes in dopamine transporter function in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Additionally, data indicate that enrichment may also alter the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in key mesolimbic structures involved in abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeuropathology of Drug Addictions and Substance Misuse Volume 1
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations of Understanding, Tobacco, Alcohol, Cannabinoids and Opioids
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128002131
ISBN (Print)9780128003763
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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