Nicotine (which owes its name to the fact that tobacco was introduced in France by Jean Nicot) is an alkaloid found in plants of the nightshade family, including tobacco leaves (up to 5% of the weight of the leaves). Nicotine has insecticide and fungicides properties: this toxicity protects the plant from insects.
Nicotine was discovered in 1809 by Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin, a chemistry professor at the School of Medicine of Paris, and isolated in 1828 by two German scholars, Wilhelm Heinrich Posselt and Karl Ludwig Reimann.
Nicotine is an agonist of certain acetylcholine receptors, nicotinic receptors (so named in contrast to muscarinic receptors). Nicotinic receptors are ionotropic receptors: their activation input nicotine is a sodium ion and potassium ion outlet, and consequently a depolarization of the postsynaptic neuron. This excitatory postsynaptic potential has different consequences depending on the type of neuron. Nicotinic receptors are abundant in the autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junctions, and in the noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems in the brain (the reward circuit in particular). At higher doses it is a poison that irritates the digestive system, resulting in damage to the central nervous system (convulsions, coma) and muscles (especially the heart, breathing). Paralysis and vascular spasms occur frequently. Death by respiratory arrest may occur soon after the onset of symptoms of poisoning (30 to 60 minutes).
At low doses, nicotine has a stimulating and relaxing effect. It causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, release of adrenaline (stimulating hormone), and reduces appetite, thereby increasing metabolism. It would also result in improved concentration and memory due to the increase of acetylcholine. In high doses, however, it has a depressant effect and causes nausea and vomiting, and death by respiratory paralysis (overdose).
This alkaloid acts through the inhalation, ingestion, and contact. Nicotine degrades in 3-4 days. It is highly toxic to humans, mammals, and fish. Its median lethal dose is 50 mg per kg-1. It can be inhaled and absorbed directly through the skin, so the contact must be avoided when handling. Treatment is most effective if carried out at elevated temperature (> 30 ° C). Do not use treated crops before a period of 4 days.
Some modes of tobacco smoking rapidly induce physical dependence, and its abstinence may cause adverse effects (irritability, headache, anxiety, etc.) Or lead, in extreme cases, to depression. Although, the climax is on around 3 to 4 days, these symptoms can last a few weeks after the last use. It is therefore necessary to learn how to cope effectively: in case of repeated difficulties, do not hesitate to consider aid with a cessation without waiting for the manifestation of adverse long-term effects of smoking.
Free examples research paper topics on nicotine addiction will help you understand the mechanisms of this alkaloid functioning in our body.
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