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Nicotine 99.%+ pure

Nicotine is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) and a stimulant drug. It is a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist. It is made in the roots of and accumulates in the leaves of these plants. It constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco and is present in the range of 2–7 µg/kg of various edible plants. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical; consequently, nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past and nicotine analogs such as imidacloprid are currently widely used. In lesser doses (an average cigarette yields about 1 mg of absorbed nicotine), the substance acts as a stimulant in mammals, while high amounts (50–100 mg) can be harmful. This stimulant effect is likely to be a major contributing factor to the dependence-forming properties of tobacco smoking. The nicotine content of popular American-brand cigarettes has slowly increased over the years, and one study found that there was an average increase of 1.78% per year between the years of 1998 and 2005. Nicotine is physically addictive and may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Nicotine activates the mesolimbic pathway ("reward system") – the circuitry within the brain that regulates feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Dopamine is one of the key neurotransmitters actively involved in the brain. Like other physically addictive drugs, nicotine withdrawal causes downregulation of the production of dopamine and other stimulatory neurotransmitters as the brain attempts to compensate for artificial stimulation. As dopamine is downregulated, the sensitivity of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors decreases. To compensate for this compensatory mechanism, the brain in turn upregulates the number of receptors, convoluting its regulatory effects with compensatory mechanisms meant to counteract other compensatory mechanisms. An example is the increase in norepinephrine, one of the successors to dopamine, which inhibit reuptake of the glutamate receptors, in charge of memory and cognition. The net effect is an increase in reward pathway sensitivity, the opposite of other addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroin, which reduce reward pathway sensitivity. This alteration in neuronal chemistry can persist for months following the last administration. Because of the severe addictions and the harmful effects of smoking, vaccination protocols have been developed. The principle operates under the premise that if an antibody is attached to a nicotine molecule, it will be prevented from diffusing through the capillaries, thus making it less likely that it ever affects the brain by binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These include attaching the nicotine molecule as a hapten to a protein carrier such as keyhole limpet hemocyanin or a safe modified bacterial toxin to elicit an active immune response. Often it is added with bovine serum albumin. Additionally, because of concerns with the unique immune systems of individuals being liable to produce antibodies against endogenous hormones and over-the-counter drugs, monoclonal antibodies have been developed for short term passive immune protection. They have half-lives varying from hours to weeks. Their half-lives depend on their ability to resist degradation from pinocytosis by epithelial cells.
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