The influence of nicotine on the expression of egr-1 and nur77 genes by nicotine treatment and withdrawal was assessed using PC12 cells. Nicotine treatment significantly increased the amount of mRNA for egr-1 and nur77 genes at 0.5h post-nicotine treatment in the PC12 cells. In addition, nicotine withdrawal also elevated transcriptional levels of egr-1 and nur77 genes in Northern blot analyses. Nicotine treatment (200 μM) was also found to significantly increase expressional levels of Egr-1 and Nur77 proteins at 0.5h post-nicotine treatment. In contrast, Egr-1 and Nur77 protein levels were dramatically decreased by nicotine withdrawal. These results suggest that expressional levels of Egr-1 and Nur77 proteins in neural cells may affect the transcriptional activity of late-response genes after nicotine withdrawal.
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