Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Brian Kelley

Degree Award Date

Spring 2000


Rewarding Effects, Aversive Effects, Nicotine, Adolescent C57 Mice, Adult C57 Mice


Animal Sciences | Chemicals and Drugs | Laboratory and Basic Science Research


This study was designed to investigate if a difference exists between adolescent and adult mice in response to nicotine. Studies have shown that the onset of tobacco use usually occurs during adolescence. Therefore, our study looked at the effects of nicotine on adolescent and adult mice. This study examined the effects of nicotine by using the conditioned place aversion method (CPA). CPA is a classical conditioning paradigm in which a particular drug effect is paired with a distinctive environment. Because high doses of nicotine have been shown to be aversive, it is expected that the subjects would likely demonstrate an aversion to the nicotine-paired environment. CPA was measured by placing the mice in a choice situation in which they had free access to two distinct" environments (i.e., nicotine and saline-paired environments). The animal's choice after conditioning (i.e., number of seconds on each side) was assumed to be an expression of CPA. Results indicate that the effects of nicotine on adolescent and adult mice were different. Adolescent mice did not show any aversion to nicotine. On the other hand, the adult mice did show an aversion to nicotine. This study demonstrated that adolescence is a unique period of development, at least with respect to nicotine.