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The effects of the combination of alcohol and nicotine in cultured cells
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Nicotine and alcohol are drugs of abuse that make changes in different brain regions and affect the reward system. Studies have shown that these drugs are often abused together. Almost 70 % of alcohol abusers are dependent smokers. It has been shown that alcohol and nicotine have both neuroprotective and neurotoxic effects. Low doses of the drugs provide neuroprotection while high doses give neurotoxicity. Combination of the drugs can also have neurotoxic effect. Aim: This study aimed to investigate which effects alcohol and nicotine have on human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells and astrocytes. Two types of SH-SY5Y cells were used in this study; differentiated and undifferentiated cells. Methods: The cell cultures were plated in 96-well plate and exposed to nicotine and ethanol both individually and in a combination. Pre-treatment study was also performed by adding nicotine to the cells 24 hours before treating them with either nicotine and ethanol or ethanol alone. Cells were exposed to mecamylamine, nicotine acetylcholine receptor antagonist, in order to see how the blockage of nicotinic receptors would affect the treated cells. The cell viability was measured by MTT-assay two days after the treatment. Results showed that high concentrations of ethanol decreased the cell viability in SH-SY5Y cells, while low concentrations of nicotine and alcohol did not affect the cell viability. Combination of nicotine and ethanol decreased the cell viability. Pre-treatment with nicotine had more protective effect against ethanol-induced toxicity in SH-SY5Y cells compared to co-treatment. In SH-SY5Y cells, mecamylamine increased the cell viability. Conclusion: Nicotine and alcohol reinforce the toxic effects of each other. Combination of these drugs leaded to a decreased cell viability. However more research studies on different cell cultures are needed before drawing conclusion about the reasons behind the effects of these drugs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-216629OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-216629DiVA: diva2:690521
Subject / course
Pharmaceutical Pharmacology
Educational program
Master of Science Programme in Pharmacy
Available from: 2014-05-28 Created: 2014-01-23 Last updated: 2014-05-28Bibliographically approved

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