Drug Abuse Explored in Mice: Tolerance and Cross-Tolerance in Nicotine and Ethanol Using Siegel's Model

Hope Brill, The College of Wooster


The present study examined the tolerance and cross-tolerance of nicotine and ethanol using Siegel's model of tolerance. The thirty male and female C57BL/6J mice were separated into the Ethanol Same-Context Group, the Ethanol New-Context Group, the Nicotine Same-Context Group, or the Nicotine New-Context Group following 6 days of ethanol exposure. It was hypothesized that the mice would become tolerant to ethanol, show cross-tolerance to nicotine and display a lack of tolerance in the new context compared to tolerance in the same context. Additionally, the drugs were expected to have anxiolytic effects on the mice, based on distance traveled and time spent along the perimeter in an open field. The results showed significant effects of the drugs, but opposite to they hypothesized anxiolytic properties. Furthermore, tolerance and cross-tolerance and the contextual influence of Siegel's model were not found. Nicotine and ethanol are two drugs whose hazardous prevalence in society often makes them used in excess, yet research is needed to determine why these drugs are often abused concurrently.