James D. Belluzzi

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Tobacco use has one of the highest rates of addiction and relapse of any abused drug. Paradoxically, however, in animal models of reinforcement nicotine appears weak compared to other abused drugs. We report here that acetaldehyde, a major component of tobacco smoke, enhances nicotine self-administration. Juvenile and adult male rats were implanted with(More)
Most adult smokers start smoking during their adolescence. This adolescent initiation may be due to multiple factors, but little evidence is available regarding whether their brains are differentially sensitive to the addictive effects of nicotine during adolescence. To test the hypothesis that adolescents are more sensitive than adults to nicotine’s(More)
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) controls the circadian rhythm of physiological and behavioural processes in mammals. Here we show that prokineticin 2 (PK2), a cysteine-rich secreted protein, functions as an output molecule from the SCN circadian clock. PK2 messenger RNA is rhythmically expressed in the SCN, and the phase of PK2 rhythm is responsive to(More)
Adolescence is a critical period for the initiation of drug use, starting with tobacco and alcohol and progressing to marijuana and other illicit drugs. These findings have led to the suggestion that tobacco and alcohol are 'gateway' drugs that sensitize maturing reward pathways to the effects of illicit substances such as cocaine. To test this hypothesis,(More)
Drug addiction is mediated by complex neuronal processes that converge on the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAcSh). The NAcSh receives inputs from the lateral hypothalamus (LH), where self-stimulation can be induced. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is produced mainly in the LH, and its receptor (MCH1R) is highly expressed in the NAcSh. We found that,(More)
We have previously shown that acetaldehyde, a constituent of tobacco smoke, increases nicotine self-administration in adolescent, but not adult, rats. The aim of this study was to determine whether acetaldehyde influences other behavioral, endocrine, or neuronal responses to nicotine at either age. Juvenile (postnatal day (P) 27) and adult (P90) male(More)
Many pregnant women continue to smoke, despite a strong association between maternal smoking and neurobehavioral deficits in the offspring. Although gestational nicotine (GN) treatment in rodents is used as the primary animal model of maternal smoking, tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 constituents, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The(More)
We have previously reported that two D1 dopamine agonists, SKF 82958 and SKF 77434, are readily self-administered by rats. However, due to the limited selectivities of these agents, it was not possible to attribute their reinforcing effects exclusively to their D1 actions. To assess the relative involvement of D1 and D2 receptors in SKF 82958 reinforcement,(More)
Individuals with attentional and emotional dysfunctions are most at risk for smoking initiation and subsequent nicotine addiction. This article presents converging findings from human behavioral research, brain imaging, and basic neuroscience on smoking as self-medication for attentional and emotional dysfunctions. Nicotine and other tobacco constituents(More)