The present report describes the effects of Compound Red 15 (C15) on two rat models of nicotine dependence:
a. Nicotine taking behaviour: effects of repetitive 4-day C15 pre-treatment on nicotine self-administration; and,
b. Nicotine-seeking relapse: effects of single acute C15 pre-treatment on reinstatement of responding induced by exposure to environmental cues previously associated to nicotine (nicotine cues).
C15 at 30 mg/kg s.c. significantly reduced the number of nicotine infusions obtained on day 1 of pre-treatment. A main effect of C15 was observed on the following 3 days of treatment, but without a significant effect for individual dose, and a lack of dose-response relationship.
C15 reduced nicotine cues-induced reinstatement of responding of nicotine-paired lever with a significant dose-response relationship. A highly significant inhibition was observed at the doses of 10 and 30 mg/kg s.c., without any side-effects or lack of lever discrimination.
These findings suggest a specific potential effect of C15 in the prevention of smoking relapse induced by environmental nicotine-associated stimuli, plus a possible smoking reduction effect.