The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of nicotine on the daily rhythms of heart rate, body temperature and locomotor activity in unrestrained rats by use of implanted radiotelemetry transmitters. The study was divided into three seven-day periods: a control period, a treatment period and a recovery period. The control period was used for baseline measurement of heart rate, body temperature and locomotor activity. During the treatment period three rats received nicotine (1 mg kg-1, s.c.) at 0900 h. Three rats received saline under the same experimental conditions. Heart rate, body temperature and locomotor activity were continuously monitored and plotted every 10 min. During the three periods a power spectrum analysis was used to determine the dominant period of rhythmicity. If daily rhythms of heart rate, body temperature and locomotor activity were detected, the characteristics of these rhythms, i.e. the mesors, amplitudes and acrophases, were determined by cosinor analysis, expressed as means ± s.e.m. and compared by analysis of variance. Nicotine did not suppress daily rhythmicity but induced decreases of amplitudes and phase-advances of acrophases for heart rate, body temperature and locomotor activity. These perturbations might result from the effects of nicotine on the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the hypothalamic clock that co-ordinates biological rhythms.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
|Published - Aug 1998