Pregnant C57BI/6J mice were allowed to choose drinking saccharin/nicotine solutions or pure water. Controls could choose saccharin solutions or pure water. Offspring were tested in spontaneous locomotion, fear-associated learning (trace conditioning), addictive (conditioned place preference), and depression-like (learned helplessness) behaviors.
Journal: Acta Paediatricia 2006 June;95(6):pages 645-649
Authors: Granon S, Changeux JP.
URA CNRS Recepteur et Cognition, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a multifactorial and heterogeneous disorder, highly prevalent in children and characterized by three main components: inattention, lack of inhibitory control and hyperactivity.
Epidemiological evidence reveals that ADHD is associated with nicotine exposure, mostly, with prenatal cigarette smoking. Mice deleted for the beta2-subunit gene of the neuronal nicotinic receptor are proposed as a simple and reliable animal model for ADHD.
Conclusion: Nicotinic agonists targeting the alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptors alleviate ADHD symptoms and may possibly contribute to an efficient therapy of ADHD children.