Constitutional mechanisms of vulnerability and resilience to nicotine dependence

N. Hiroi, D. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The core nature of nicotine dependence is evident in wide variations in how individuals become and remain smokers. Individuals with pre-existing behavioral traits are more likely to develop nicotine dependence and experience difficulty when attempting to quit. Many molecular factors likely contribute to individual variations in the development of nicotine dependence and behavioral traits in complex manners. However, the identification of such molecules has been hampered by the phenotypic complexity of nicotine dependence and the complex ways molecules affect elements of nicotine dependence. We hypothesize that nicotine dependence is, in part, a result of interactions between nicotine and pre-existing behavioral traits. This perspective suggests that the identification of the molecular bases of such pre-existing behavioral traits will contribute to the development of effective methods for reducing smoking dependence and for helping smokers to quit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-667
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Comorbidity
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Knockout mice
  • Smoking
  • Translational model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology


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