If You Give A Mouse Cocaine You Should Probably Give Him A Cigarette First

“Nicotine causes changes in gene regulation that enhance the brain’s subsequent response to cocaine. The finding, in mice, provides the first clear evidence for a molecular mechanism supporting the idea of ‘gateway drugs’…. In a study published today in Science Translational Medicine, the team shows that, in mice at least, nicotine causes epigenetic changes–long-lasting changes in the control of gene expression–that subsequently boost the response to cocaine.