What Genes Tell Us About Nicotine Addiction

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Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 983-985
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106030

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The alkaloid nicotine contained in tobacco smoke is responsible for the rewarding effects of cigarette smoking and the craving associated with giving up smoking. In their Perspective, Hogg and Bertrand discuss new findings ( Tapper et al.) that identify the α4 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed by neurons as a target of nicotine action.