The nicotine-degrading enzyme NicA2 reduces nicotine levels in blood, nicotine distribution to brain, and nicotine discrimination and reinforcement in rats

Paul R. Pentel, Michael D. Raleigh, Mark G. LeSage, Thomas Thisted, Stephen Horrigan, Zuzana Biesova, Matthew W. Kalnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The bacterial nicotine-degrading enzyme NicA2 isolated from P. putida was studied to assess its potential use in the treatment of tobacco dependence. Results: Rats were pretreated with varying i.v. doses of NicA2, followed by i.v. administration of nicotine at 0.03 mg/kg. NicA2 had a rapid onset of action reducing blood and brain nicotine concentrations in a dose-related manner, with a rapid onset of action. A 5 mg/kg NicA2 dose reduced the nicotine concentration in blood by > 90% at 1 min after the nicotine dose, compared to controls. Brain nicotine concentrations were reduced by 55% at 1 min and 92% at 5 min post nicotine dose. To evaluate enzyme effects at a nicotine dosing rate equivalent to heavy smoking, rats pretreated with NicA2 at 10 mg/kg were administered 5 doses of nicotine 0.03 mg/kg i.v. over 40 min. Nicotine levels in blood were below the assay detection limit 3 min after either the first or fifth nicotine dose, and nicotine levels in brain were reduced by 82 and 84%, respectively, compared to controls. A 20 mg/kg NicA2 dose attenuated nicotine discrimination and produced extinction of nicotine self-administration (NSA) in most rats, or a compensatory increase in other rats, when administered prior to each daily NSA session. In rats showing compensation, increasing the NicA2 dose to 70 mg/kg resulted in extinction of NSA. An enzyme construct with a longer duration of action, via fusion with an albumin-binding domain, similarly reduced NSA in a 23 h nicotine access model at a dose of 70 mg/kg. Conclusions: These data extend knowledge of NicA2's effects on nicotine distribution to brain and its ability to attenuate addiction-relevant behaviors in rats and support its further investigation as a treatment for tobacco use disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalBMC Biotechnology
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 24 2018

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Degradation
  • Enzyme
  • Metabolism
  • Nicotine

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