Tobacco smoking and nicotine exposure during adolescence interfere with prefrontal cortex (PFC) development and lead to cognitive impairments in later life. The molecular and cellular underpinnings of these consequences remain elusive. We found that adolescent nicotine exposure induced lasting attentional disturbances and reduced mGluR2 protein and function on presynaptic terminals of PFC glutamatergic synapses. Restoring mGluR2 activity in vivo by local infusion of a group II mGluR agonist in adult rats that received nicotine as adolescents rescued attentional disturbances. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.