INTRODUCTION: Nicotine is a substance associated with rewarding and abusive effects. The rewarding effects of nicotine are thought to be due to dopamine signaling, which is negatively controlled through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also known as omega-3, can trigger the peroxisomal β-oxidation enzymes through PPARs. In this study, we planned to examine the effect of DHA on the rewarding properties of nicotine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) in male rats.
METHODS: CPP was established by giving male rats an intraperitoneal injection of nicotine (0.5 mg/kg). The effects of PPAR agonist DHA on the rewarding properties of nicotine were evaluated with the administration of DHA (150 mg/kg and 250 mg/kg, p.o.) or saline 30 min prior to nicotine injection.
RESULTS: The present finding confirms that DHA attenuated nicotine acquisition (150 and 250 mg/kg, p<0.01) and failed to produce CPP or/and conditioned place aversion.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: These findings could be a bridge from bench to bedside as DHA may be helpful as an adjuvant for smoking cessation; however, these are the preliminary results, and further research is needed to illuminate this feature completely.