ISSN 0371-0874, CN 31-1352/Q



钟嘉慧1, 毕研芝2,3,*, 孔亚卓3,4, 陆智杰5, 胡理2,3

1辽宁师范大学脑与认知神经科学研究中心,大连 116029;2中国科学院心理健康重点实验室(中国科学院心理研究所),北京 100101;3中国科学院大学心理学系,北京 100049;4中国科学院行为科学重点实验室(中国科学院心理研究所),北京 100101;5第二军医大学附属东方肝胆外科医院,上海 200433



关键词: 尼古丁戒断; 疼痛敏感性; 神经递质; 受体; 机制


Central neural mechanism of increased pain sensitivity induced by nicotine abstinence

ZHONG Jia-Hui1, BI Yan-Zhi2,3,*, KONG Ya-Zhuo3,4, LU Zhi-Jie5, HU Li2,3

1Research Center of Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China;2The Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;3Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;4The Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;5Department of Anesthesiology, Shanghai Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Shanghai 200433, China


Nicotine is the main addictive component in cigarettes that motivates dependence on tobacco use for smokers and makes it difficult to quit through regulating a variety of neurotransmitter release and receptor activations in the brain. Even though nicotine has an analgesic effect, clinical studies demonstrated that nicotine abstinence reduces pain threshold and increases pain sensitivity in smoking individuals. The demand for opioid analgesics in nicotine abstinent patients undergoing surgery has greatly increased, which results in many side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and respiratory depression, etc. In addition, these side effects would hinder patients’ physical and psychological recovery. Therefore, identifying the neural mechanism of the increase of pain sensitivity induced by nicotine abstinence and deriving a way to cope with the increased demand for postoperative analgesics would have enormous basic and clinical implications. In this review, we first discussed different experimental pain stimuli (e.g., cold, heat, and mechanical pain)-induced pain sensitivity changes after a period of nicotine dependence/abstinence from both animal and human studies. Then, we summarized the effects of the brain neurotransmitter release (e.g., serotonin, norepinephrine, endogenous opioids, dopamine, and γ-aminobutyric acid) and their corresponding receptor activation changes after nicotine abstinence on pain sensitivity. Finally, we discussed the limits in recent studies. We proposed that more attention should be paid to human studies, especially studies among chronic pain patients, and functional magnetic resonance imaging might be a useful tool to reveal the mechanisms of abstinence- induced pain sensitivity changes. Besides, considering the influence of duration of nicotine dependence/abstinence and gender on pain sensitivity, we proposed that the effects of nicotine abstinence and individual differences (e.g., duration of abstinence from smoking, chronic/acute abstinence, and gender) on abstinence-induced pain sensitivity should be fully considered in formulating pain treatment protocols. In summary, this paper could deepen our understanding of nicotine abstinence-induced pain sensitivity changes and its underlying neural mechanism, and could also provide effective scientific theories to guide clinical pain diagnosis and treatment, which has important clinical significance.

Key words: nicotine abstinence; pain sensitivity; neurotransmitter; receptor; mechanism

收稿日期:2020-12-05  录用日期:2021-03-12

通讯作者:毕研芝  E-mail:


钟嘉慧, 毕研芝, 孔亚卓, 陆智杰, 胡理. 尼古丁戒断诱发疼痛敏感性升高的中枢神经机制[J]. 生理学报 2021; 73 (6): 953-962.

ZHONG Jia-Hui, BI Yan-Zhi, KONG Ya-Zhuo, LU Zhi-Jie, HU Li. Central neural mechanism of increased pain sensitivity induced by nicotine abstinence. Acta Physiol Sin 2021; 73 (6): 953-962 (in Chinese with English abstract).