Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The non-selective A2A antagonist caffeine has been reported to modify nicotine-induced locomotor and reinforcing effects. In the present study, we have investigated the specific role of A2A adenosine receptors in the behavioural responses induced by nicotine by using genetically modified mice lacking A2A adenosine receptors. Acute nicotine administration induced a similar decrease of locomotor activity in A2A knockout mice and wild-type littermates. Acute antinociceptive responses elicited by nicotine in the tail-immersion and hot-plate tests were unaffected in these mutant mice. The rewarding properties of nicotine were then investigated using the place-conditioning paradigm. Nicotine-induced conditioned place preference was suppressed in A2A knockout mice. Accordingly, in vivo microdialysis studies revealed that the extracellular levels of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens were not increased after nicotine administration in mutant mice. Wild-type and A2A knockout mice were trained in conditioned taste aversion procedure in which drinking a saccharin or saline solution was paired with nicotine or saline injections. A similar reduction in the intake of nicotine-paired solution in this paradigm was obtained in both genotypes. Finally, the administration of the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine in nicotine-dependent mice precipitated a similar withdrawal syndrome in both genotypes. Together, the present results identify A2A adenosine receptors as an important factor that contributes to the rewarding properties of nicotine.