Effect of drugs of abuse on social behaviour: a review of animal models.
Few studies have compared the action of both nicotine (NIC) and bupropion (BUP), an antidepressant used to treat NIC dependence, on social and aggressive behavior at different ages. This study aims to determine whether these drugs produce differential effects in adolescent (postnatal day: 36-37) and adult (postnatal day: 65-66) mice that have been housed individually for 2 weeks in order to induce aggressive behavior. Mice received BUP (40, 20, or 10 mg/kg), NIC (1, 0.5, and 0.25 mg/kg as base), or vehicle earlier to a social interaction test. BUP (40 mg/kg) decreased social investigation and increased nonsocial exploration in both adolescent and adult mice. The same effects were also observed in adult mice administered with a lower dose of the same drug (20 mg/kg). In adolescents, NIC (1 mg/kg) decreased social investigation, but this effect did not reach statistical significance in adults. In conclusion, a differential sensitivity to the effects of NIC or BUP emerged in some of the behavioral categories when the two age groups were compared.