Stress and nicotine during adolescence disrupts adult hippocampal-dependent learning and alters stress reactivity

Erica Holliday, Sheree F. Logue, Chicora Oliver, Debra A. Bangasser, Thomas J. Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Adolescence represents increased susceptibility to stress that increases risk for nicotine dependence. The present study examined the interactive effects of brief exposure to stress (shipping/transportation or experimentally induced) and chronic nicotine during adolescence on cognitive function and stress reactivity in adulthood. Adolescent (P31), but not young adult (P47), C57BL/6J mice had higher levels of corticosterone after shipping vs mice bred onsite. Shipped preadolescent (P23) and adolescent (P38) mice, but not those bred onsite, exposed to nicotine showed deficits in contextual fear learning when tested in adulthood. Adult learning deficits were replicated in adolescent mice bred onsite, exposed to experimentally induced stress, and administered chronic nicotine. Stress and nicotine during adolescence resulted in higher expression of hippocampal glucocorticoid receptors and corticotropin-releasing factor receptors and blunted restraint induced CORT release in adulthood. Importantly, studies examining adolescent behavior in mice should consider stress influences outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12769
JournalAddiction Biology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • adolescence
  • contextual fear
  • corticosterone
  • hippocampus
  • nicotine
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this