ANA MARIA VLASCEANU, CORNEL CHIRITA, DRAGOS MIHAI, CRISTINA DANIELA MARINECI, MIRIANA STAN, CRISTIAN BALALAU, DANIELA GRADINARU, DANIELA BACONI COMPARATIVE STUDY ON THE PSYCHOACTIVE EFFECTS OF NICOTINE AND COTININE Nicotine and its main metabolite cotinine have been suggested to have psychoactive properties in humans and animals. The present study aims to investigate comparatively the psychoactive profile, as antidepressant and anxiolytic effects, of cotinine and nicotine in NMRI mice. The animalswere orally treated with nicotine (0.5mg/kg) and cotinine (5 mg/kg) for 14 days. Pharmacological tests (forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) for the antidepressant activity, as well as elevated maze test for the anxiolytic activity) were performed after 1, 7 and 14 days. Imipramine (25 mg/kg) was used as a control for the antidepressant activity. Imipramine and cotinine bothexerted comparable and statistically significant antidepressant effectsafter 7 days of treatment, while no effect was observedin the animals treated with nicotine. An important anxiogenic effect was revealed for imipramine after 14 days treatment. Nicotine was shown to have an axiolytic effect after 14 days treatment. The study highlighted some psychotropic effects of nicotine and cotinine in mice, depending on the treatment regimen.