Carriers of a genetic mutation show increased dependence on tobacco
Scientists at the Institut Pasteur, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) have recently proven that, in mice, nicotine intake– nicotine is the main addictive substance in tobacco – is heavily regulated by a genetic mutation that is very common in humans. This mutation affects the neuronal nicotinic receptor, disrupting its function and resulting in partial inactivation of the "reward circuit". Carriers of this mutation therefore have to increase their consumption to feel the effects of tobacco. These results, published online on December 3, 2013 in Molecular Psychiatry, pave the way for the development of new smoking cessation treatments that target carriers of this mutation.