Using an adaptation of published behavioral protocols, we determined that acute exposure to the cholinergic compounds nicotine and carbamylcholine decreased planarian motility in a concentration-dependent manner. A tobacco cembranoid (1S,2E,4R,6R,7E,11E)-cembra-2,7,11- triene-4,6-diol (4R-cembranoid), also decreased planarian motility. Experiments in the presence of 1 μM 4R-cembranoid did increase the IC50 for nicotine- but not carbamylcholine-induced decrease in planarian motility. When planarians were exposed for 24 h to either nicotine or carbamylcholine at concentrations near their respective IC50 values and then transferred to plain media, nicotineexposed, but not carbamylcholine- or cembranoid-exposed worms displayed withdrawal-like distress behaviors. In experiments where planarians were pre-exposed to 100 μM nicotine for 24 h in the presence of 1 μM 4R-cembranoid, the withdrawal-like effects were significantly reduced. These results indicate that the 4R-cembranoid might have valuable applications for tobacco abuse research. This experimental approach using planarians is useful for the initial screening of compounds relevant to drug abuse and dependence.
European Journal of Pharmacology
Pagán, O. R., Rowlands, A. L., Fattore, A. L., Coudron, T., Urban, K. R., Bidja, A. H., & Eterović, V. A. (2009). A cembranoid from tobacco prevents the expression of nicotineinduced withdrawal behavior in planarian worms. European Journal of Pharmacology, 615(1-3), 118-124. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2009.05.022