The current experiments examined the anxiety-related effects of acute and repeated nicotine administration using the elevated plus maze test in mice. Nicotine (0.1 mg/kg s.c., 5 and 30 min after injection; 0.5 mg/kg, s.c., 5 min after injection) had an anxiogenic effect, shown by specific decreases in the percentage of time spent on the open arms and in the percentage of open arm entries. Tolerance developed to this anxiogenic action after 6 days of daily nicotine administration (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.). Five minutes after the seventh injection, an anxiolytic effect was observed, i.e., specific increases in the percentage of time spent on the open arms and in the percentage of open arm entries. L-type voltage-dependent calcium channel antagonists nimodipine (5 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.), flunarizine (5 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.), verapamil (5, 10, 20 mg/kg) and diltiazem (5, 10, 20 mg/kg, i.p.) were also injected prior to an acute low dose of nicotine or to each injection of chronic nicotine. Our results revealed that calcium channel blockers dose-dependently attenuated both an anxiogenic effect of nicotine as well as the development of tolerance to this effect. Our results suggest that neural calcium-dependent mechanisms are involved in the anxiety-related responses to acute and chronic nicotine injection that may ultimately lead to addiction and smoking relapse in human smokers.