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Presentation Time: 3:10-3:30
Home University: UNC-Chapel Hill
Research Mentor: ManHua Zhu, Neuroscience
Program: CSF
Research Title: Electronic nicotine vapor exposure and central amygdala activity in mice

Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that has traditionally been consumed by smoking cigarettes. Due to the introduction of new technology such as electronic cigarettes, nicotine vaping has surged in popularity. The rising popularity of vaping necessitates the development of preclinical nicotine vapor exposure models in mice, as well as a better knowledge of the effects of vaping on certain brain regions. The central amygdala (CeA) is a brain region that regulates behavioral and emotional responses to stress or fear reactions. The cellular implications of nicotine vapor exposure on the CeA were investigated using a mouse model of electronic vapor exposure. Adult male C57BL/6J mice were given intermittent vapes of 120 mg/ml nicotine in propylene glycol: vegetable glycerol (PG/VG) or PG/VG control for a single 3-hour session (acute exposure) or 5 daily sessions (repeated exposure). Nicotine vapor exposure increased serum nicotine and cotinine levels in both acute and repeated exposures. Acute nicotine vapor exposure increased central amygdala (CeA) activity in individual neuronal firing as well as cFos expression, a molecular activity marker. Repeated exposure did not produce the same alterations in neuronal activity as acute exposure. This research validated a mouse model of nicotine vapor exposure and added to our understanding of how electronic nicotine vapor has varied effects on CeA neuronal activity.