Lifelong exposure to caffeine increases anxiety-like behavior in adult mice exposed to tobacco smoke during adolescence.

Research paper by Bruno B da Silva Gonçalves, Pedro Henrique PH Leal-Rocha, Alex C AC Manhães, Cláudio C CC Filgueiras, Yael Y Abreu-Villaça, Anderson A Ribeiro-Carvalho

Indexed on: 24 Dec '18Published on: 24 Dec '18Published in: Neuroscience Letters


Caffeine and tobacco smoke are among the most frequently self-administered licit psychoactive drugs in the world. Both drugs affect anxiety levels, however, little is known on the impact of the dual exposure in the adolescent brain, the period during which smoking begins. Considering that anxiety is a relevant factor for smoking maintenance and relapse, we investigated the effects of lifelong exposure to caffeine on anxiety levels of Swiss mice exposed to tobacco smoke during adolescence. Caffeine was administrated during all prenatal and postnatal life (CAF, 0.1 g/l to drink). From postnatal day 30-45, animals were exposed to tobacco smoke (SMK, whole body exposure, 8 h/day) generated from research cigarettes type 3R4F (nicotine = 0.73 mg/per cigarette). Four groups were analyzed: (1) CAF + SMK exposure; (2) SMK exposure; (3) CAF exposure; (4) Control. Anxiety levels were assessed in the elevated plus maze at the end of smoke exposure (PN45), at short- (PN55) and long-term (PN75) withdrawal. Caffeine exposure reduced decision making time (time in center of maze) during adolescence (PN45 and PN55). In addition, caffeine increased anxiety-like behavior during long-term tobacco smoke withdrawal. The present study provides experimental evidence that caffeine and tobacco smoke during adolescence interact resulting in emotional dysregulation during tobacco smoke withdrawal. Particularly, increased anxiety-like behavior during long-term withdrawal in CAF + SMK animals demonstrates late-emergent effects. In this sense, our data suggest that lifelong caffeine exposure may be an important factor in tobacco relapse. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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