Administration of a single daily dose of nicotine has been shown to entrain circadian activity episodes both preceding and following the administration time that persist for several days after drug administration ceases. The present study tested the effects of multiple daily nicotine administrations on circadian activity episodes in adult female rats kept under constant light and rate-limited food access. Eight rats received 7 separate 7-day nicotine injection series, each followed by a 3-day test phase without injections. Subcutaneous nicotine was administered once a day during the 1st and 7th series, twice daily during the 2nd and 6th series, three times daily during the 3rd and 5th series, and four times daily during the 4th series. To control the cumulative daily dose throughout the study, 1.0 mg/kg nicotine was evenly divided among the injections within a single day. Pre- and post-administration effects of nicotine declined across the day, and significant entrainment of both pre- and post-nicotine episodes occurred for only one daily injection in each series. Additionally, post-nicotine episodes showed a different dose-response curve than the pre-nicotine episodes: post-nicotine wheel turns increased as the dose decreased, whereas pre-nicotine wheel turns remained relatively constant as the dose changed. These results provide evidence that nicotine-induced circadian entrainment to a single administration time does occur when the drug is administered multiple times a day, and pre- and post-nicotine circadian episodes are mediated at least partially by separate mechanisms.
- Circadian rhythms
- Drug addiction
- Post-drug circadian activity episodes
- Pre-drug circadian activity episodes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience