Effects of bupropion, alone or coadministered with nicotine, on social behavior in mice
Bupropion, administered alone or combined with nicotine, is presently used to treat nicotine dependence. Despite experimental evidence of the complex behavioral actions of this drug, there have been little data reported about its effects on social behavior. Our main aim was to investigate the effects of acute administration of bupropion, alone or plus nicotine, on social interaction in mice. OF1 group-housed male mice were confronted in a neutral cage with an anosmic opponent during a 10 minutes encounter. Time allocated to body care and digging was reduced by administration of bupropion (40 mg/kg) both when administered alone and with nicotine (1 and 0.5 mg/kg). The lowest dose of bupropion (10 mg/kg) also reduced digging when combined with 1 mg/kg of nicotine. Time spent on non-social exploration and exploration from a distance was significantly higher in mice treated with bupropion (40 mg/kg) alone or combined with nicotine (1 and 0.5 mg/kg). The lowest dose of bupropion (10 mg/kg) increased non-social exploration when combined with 0.5 mg/kg of nicotine and exploration from a distance when combined with 1 mg/kg of nicotine. Ethopharmacological assessment of the behavior of groups of mice treated with different combinations of the two drugs indicates that nicotine can potentiate some of the behavioral effects of low doses of bupropion. Results also indicate that bupropion, either alone or combined with nicotine, has no significant effects on social investigation, suggesting that this drug does not induce a clear anxiolytic profile in OF1 mice.