Drug efficacy on reduction of nicotine reinforcing properties: pharmacological validation of test compounds as potential treatments for smoking cessation

Starting date
June 6, 2008
Duration (months)
Diagnostics and Public Health
Managers or local contacts
Chiamulera Cristiano

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.


Funds: assigned and managed by the department
Funds: assigned and managed by the department

Project participants

Marzia Di Chio
Technical-administrative staff
Vincenzo Tedesco


Research facilities