Nanoassemblies from the aqueous extract of roasted coffee beans modulate the behavioral and molecular effects of smoking withdrawal–induced anxiety in female rats

Published: 2023
Drug Delivery and Translational Research (2023)


Antioxidant-rich plant extracts have demonstrated tremendous value as inflammatory modulators and as nanomaterial precursors. Chronic cigarette smoking alters neurotransmitter systems, particularly the glutamatergic system, and produces neuroinflammation. This study aimed to investigate the behavioral and molecular correlates of cigarette smoking withdrawal–induced anxiety-like behavior in rats, and whether these effects could be mitigated by the administration of antioxidant nanoassemblies prepared by spontaneous oxidation of dark-roasted Arabica coffee bean aqueous extracts. Four experimental groups of female Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to: (i) a control group that was only exposed to room air, (ii) a COF group that was administered 20 mg/kg of the coffee nanoassemblies by oral gavage, (iii) a SMOK group that was exposed to cigarette smoke and was given an oral gavage of distilled water, (iv) and a SMOK + COF group that was exposed to cigarette smoke and administered 20 mg/kg of the coffee nanoassemblies. Animals were exposed to cigarette smoke for 2 h per day, five days per week, with a 2-day withdrawal period each week. At the end of the 4th week, rats began receiving either distilled water or the coffee nanoassemblies before being exposed to cigarette smoke for 21 additional days. Weekly behavioral tests revealed that cigarette smoking withdrawal exacerbated anxiety, while the administration of the coffee nanoassemblies reduced this effect. The effect of cigarette smoking on astroglial glutamate transporters and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) expression in brain subregions was also measured. Smoking reduced the relative mRNA and protein levels of the glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) and the cystine/glutamate antiporter (xCT), and increased the levels of NF-κB, but these effects were attenuated by the coffee nanoassemblies. Thus, administration of the antioxidant nanoassemblies decreased the negative effects of cigarette smoke, which included neuroinflammation, changes in glutamate transporters’ expression, and a rise in anxiety-like behavior.