Vaccination against nicotine alters the distribution of nicotine delivered via cigarette smoke inhalation to rats

M. Pravetoni, D. E. Keyler, M. D. Raleigh, A. C. Harris, M. G. Lesage, C. K. Mattson, S. Pettersson, P. R. Pentel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Preclinical models of nicotine vaccine pharmacology have relied on i.v. or s.c. administration of nicotine. Models using cigarette smoke inhalation might more accurately simulate nicotine exposure in smokers. Nicotine vaccine effects were examined in rats using two cigarette smoke exposure models: a 10 min nose-only exposure (NSE) producing serum nicotine levels equivalent to the nicotine boost from 1 cigarette in a smoker, and a 2 h whole-body exposure (WBE) producing serum nicotine levels similar to those associated with regular mid-day smoking. Vaccination prior to 10 min smoke NSE reduced nicotine distribution to brain by 90%, comparable to its effect on nicotine administered i.v. Vaccination prior to 2 h smoke WBE reduced nicotine distribution to brain by 35%. The nicotine concentration in broncheoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid obtained after 2 h WBE was increased by 230% in vaccinated rats but was also increased in rats passively immunized with a nicotine-specific monoclonal antibody, and so was likely due to transfer of antibody from serum rather than local production at the pulmonary mucosa. Nicotine-specific IgA was not detectable in BAL fluid, but titers in serum were appreciable at 21-25% of the IgG titer and could contribute to vaccine efficacy. Both vaccination and passive immunization are effective in reducing nicotine distribution to brain in rats when nicotine is delivered via inhaled cigarette smoke. These data validate results previously obtained in rodents for nicotine vaccines using i.v. or s.c. nicotine dosing and provide a quantitative method for studying aspects of nicotine exposure which are unique to cigarette smoke inhalation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1164-1170
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The 3′-AmNic-rEPA immunogen and rEPA carrier protein were gifts of Nabi Biopharmaceuticals. Internal standard for the nicotine assay was a gift from P Jacob (University of California, San Francisco). Supported by PHS grants DA10714, DA010714-13S1, T32-DA07097, and a Career Development Award from the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MP).


  • Antibody
  • Cigarette
  • Immunogenicity
  • Immunotherapy
  • Nicotine
  • Smoke
  • Vaccine


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