Nicotine-induced limbic cortical activation in the human brain: a functional MRI study.
ABSTRACT Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and cigarette smoking is a major cause of premature death among humans. Little is known about the neuropharmacology and sites of action of nicotine in the human brain. Such knowledge might help in the development of new behavioral and pharmacological therapies to aid in treating nicotine dependence and to improve smoking cessation success rates.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging, a real-time imaging technique, was used to determine the acute CNS effects of intravenous nicotine in 16 active cigarette smokers. An injection of saline followed by injections of three doses of nicotine (0.75, 1.50, and 2.25 mg/70 kg of weight) were each administered intravenously over 1-minute periods in an ascending, cumulative-dosing paradigm while whole brain gradient-echo, echo-planar images were acquired every 6 seconds during consecutive 20-minute trials.
Nicotine induced a dose-dependent increase in several behavioral parameters, including feelings of "rush" and "high" and drug liking. Nicotine also induced a dose-dependent increase in neuronal activity in a distributed system of brain regions, including the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, cingulate, and frontal lobes. Activation in these structures is consistent with nicotine's behavior-arousing and behavior-reinforcing properties in humans.
The identified brain regions have been previously shown to participate in the reinforcing, mood-elevating, and cognitive properties of other abused drugs such as cocaine, amphetamine, and opiates, suggesting that nicotine acts similarly in the human brain to produce its reinforcing and dependence properties.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Peter Bandettini, May 30, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Acute nicotine administration potentiates brain reward function and enhances motor and cognitive function. These studies investigated which brain areas are being activated by a wide range of doses of nicotine, and if this is diminished by pretreatment with the nonselective nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine. Drug-induced changes in brain activity were assessed by measuring changes in the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal using an 11.1-Tesla magnetic resonance scanner. In the first experiment, nicotine naïve rats were mildly anesthetized and the effect of nicotine (0.03-0.6mg/kg) on the BOLD signal was investigated for 10min. In the second experiment, the effect of mecamylamine on nicotine-induced brain activity was investigated. A high dose of nicotine increased the BOLD signal in brain areas implicated in reward signaling, such as the nucleus accumbens shell and the prelimbic area. Nicotine also induced a dose-dependent increase in the BOLD signal in the striato-thalamo-orbitofrontal circuit, which plays a role in compulsive drug intake, and in the insular cortex, which contributes to nicotine craving and relapse. In addition, nicotine induced a large increase in the BOLD signal in motor and somatosensory cortices. Mecamylamine alone did not affect the BOLD signal in most brain areas, but induced a negative BOLD response in cortical areas, including insular, motor, and somatosensory cortices. Pretreatment with mecamylamine completely blocked the nicotine-induced increase in the BOLD signal. These studies demonstrate that acute nicotine administration activates brain areas that play a role in reward signaling, compulsive behavior, and motor and cognitive function. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.
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ABSTRACT: Stress and prefrontal cognitive dysfunction have key roles in driving smoking; however, there are no therapeutics for smoking cessation that attenuate the effects of stress on smoking and enhance cognition. Central noradrenergic pathways are involved in stress-induced reinstatement to nicotine and in the prefrontal executive control of adaptive behaviors. We used a novel translational approach employing a validated laboratory analogue of stress-precipitated smoking, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and a proof-of-concept treatment period to evaluate whether the noradrenergic α2a agonist guanfacine (3 mg/day) versus placebo (0 mg/day) reduced stress-precipitated smoking in the laboratory, altered cortico-striatal activation during the Stroop cognitive-control task, and reduced smoking following a quit attempt. In nicotine-deprived smokers (n=33), stress versus a neutral condition significantly decreased the latency to smoke, and increased tobacco craving, ad-libitum smoking, and systolic blood pressure in placebo-treated subjects, and these effects were absent or reduced in guanfacine-treated subjects. Following stress, placebo-treated subjects demonstrated decreased cortisol levels whereas guanfacine-treated subjects demonstrated increased levels. Guanfacine, compared with placebo, altered prefrontal activity during a cognitive-control task, and reduced cigarette use but did not increase complete abstinence during treatment. These preliminary laboratory, neuroimaging, and clinical outcome data were consistent and complementary and support further development of guanfacine for smoking cessation. © The Author(s) 2014.Journal of Psychopharmacology 12/2014; 29(3). DOI:10.1177/0269881114562091 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Obesity presents a major health hazard of the 21st century. It promotes co-morbid diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Excessive energy intake, physical inactivity, and genetic susceptibility are main causal factors for obesity, while gene mutations, endocrine disorders, medication, or psychiatric illnesses may be underlying causes in some cases. The development and maintenance of obesity may involve central pathophysiological mechanisms such as impaired brain circuit regulation and neuroendocrine hormone dysfunction. Dieting and physical exercise offer the mainstays of obesity treatment, and anti-obesity drugs may be taken in conjunction to reduce appetite or fat absorption. Bariatric surgeries may be performed in overtly obese patients to lessen stomach volume and nutrient absorption, and induce faster satiety. This review provides a summary of literature on the pathophysiological studies of obesity and discusses relevant therapeutic strategies for managing obesity.Nutrients 11/2014; 6(11):5153-5183. DOI:10.3390/nu6115153 · 3.15 Impact Factor