NEUROPHARMACOLOGY AND NEUROTOXICOLOGYRegional differential effects of chronic nicotine on brain α4-containing and α6-containing receptorsEven, Naïlaa; Cardona, Anab; Soudant, Martinea; Corringer, Pierre-Jeanc; Changeux, Jean-Pierrea; Cloëz-Tayarani, IsabelleaAuthor Information aDépartement de Neuroscience bRecherche et Expertise Histotechnologie et Pathologie cRécepteurs-Canaux, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France Correspondence to Isabelle Cloëz-Tayarani, PhD, Neuroscience Department, Pasteur Institute, 28 rue du Dr Roux, Paris 75015, France Tel: +33 1 45 68 88 04; fax: +33 1 45 68 88 36; e-mail: email@example.com Received 4 July 2008; accepted 17 July 2008 NeuroReport: October 8th, 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 15 - p 1545-1550 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283112703 Buy Metrics Abstract Chronic nicotine upregulates central nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), a plasticity process thought to contribute to its addictive properties. To analyze this process in vivo, we chronically exposed mice to nicotine using minipump delivering nicotine at concentrations close to those found in tobacco smokers. Binding studies show upregulation of high-affinity nAChRs after 21 days of treatment in cortical areas, caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, ventral tegmental area, and superior colliculi. No upregulation was observed in thalamus and discrete cortical areas. Using wild type and α6−/− mice, we observed a downregulation of α6*-nAChRs in superior colliculi and no effects in other structures. The complex pattern of upregulation/downregulation observed in this study depends on both nAChR composition and regional distribution. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.