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  Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer and alcohol consumption in young male social drinkers: Behavioral, neural and polygenic correlates

Garbusow, M., Nebe, S., Sommer, C., Kuitunen-Paul, S., Sebold, M., Schad, D. J., et al. (2019). Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer and alcohol consumption in young male social drinkers: Behavioral, neural and polygenic correlates. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(8): 1188. doi:10.3390/jcm8081188.

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Garbusow, Maria1, Author
Nebe, Stephan2, 3, 4, Author
Sommer, Christian2, Author
Kuitunen-Paul, Sören5, 6, Author
Sebold, Miriam1, 7, Author
Schad, Daniel J.1, 7, Author
Friedel, Eva1, 8, Author
Veer, Ilya M.1, Author
Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich5, 9, Author
Rapp, Michael A.7, Author
Ripke, Stephan1, 10, 11, Author
Walter, Henrik1, Author
Huys, Quentin J. M.12, Author
Schlagenhauf, Florian1, 13, Author           
Smolka, Michael N.2, 3, Author
Heinz, Andreas1, Author
1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Neuroimaging Center, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Zurich Center for Neuroeconomics (ZNE), University of Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
5Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Potsdam, Germany, ou_persistent22              
8Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Germany, ou_persistent22              
9Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Germany, ou_persistent22              
10Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA, ou_persistent22              
11Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA, ou_persistent22              
12Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
13Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              


Free keywords: Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer; Amygdala; Alcohol; Polygenic risk; High risk drinkers
 Abstract: In animals and humans, behavior can be influenced by irrelevant stimuli, a phenomenon called Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT). In subjects with substance use disorder, PIT is even enhanced with functional activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and amygdala. While we observed enhanced behavioral and neural PIT effects in alcohol-dependent subjects, we here aimed to determine whether behavioral PIT is enhanced in young men with high-risk compared to low-risk drinking and subsequently related functional activation in an a-priori region of interest encompassing the NAcc and amygdala and related to polygenic risk for alcohol consumption. A representative sample of 18-year old men (n = 1937) was contacted: 445 were screened, 209 assessed: resulting in 191 valid behavioral, 139 imaging and 157 genetic datasets. None of the subjects fulfilled criteria for alcohol dependence according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-TextRevision (DSM-IV-TR). We measured how instrumental responding for rewards was influenced by background Pavlovian conditioned stimuli predicting action-independent rewards and losses. Behavioral PIT was enhanced in high-compared to low-risk drinkers (b = 0.09, SE = 0.03, z = 2.7, p < 0.009). Across all subjects, we observed PIT-related neural blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the right amygdala (t = 3.25, pSVC = 0.04, x = 26, y = −6, z = −12), but not in NAcc. The strength of the behavioral PIT effect was positively correlated with polygenic risk for alcohol consumption (rs = 0.17, p = 0.032). We conclude that behavioral PIT and polygenic risk for alcohol consumption might be a biomarker for a subclinical phenotype of risky alcohol consumption, even if no drug-related stimulus is present. The association between behavioral PIT effects and the amygdala might point to habitual processes related to out PIT task. In non-dependent young social drinkers, the amygdala rather than the NAcc is activated during PIT; possible different involvement in association with disease trajectory should be investigated in future studies.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-08-042019-06-292019-08-062019-08-08
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3390/jcm8081188
PMID: 31398853
PMC: PMC6723486
 Degree: -



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Project information

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Project name : Lern- und Gewöhnungsprozesse als Prädiktoren für die Entwicklung und Aufrechterhaltung alkoholbezogener Störungen / FOR 1617
Grant ID : FR 3572/1-1 ; HE 2597/13-1 ; HE 2597/13-2 ; HE 2597/15-1 ; HE 2597/15-2 ; RA 1047/2-1 ; SCHL 1969/2-2/4-1 ; SM 80/7-1 ; SM 80/7-2 ; WA 1539/7-1 ; WI 709/10-1 ; WI 709/10-2
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project name : Volition and Cognitive Control: Mechanisms, Modulators and Dysfunctions / SFB 940
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program
Funding organization : Charite - University Medicine Berlin

Source 1

Title: Journal of Clinical Medicine
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Basel : MDPI
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 8 (8) Sequence Number: 1188 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2077-0383
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2077-0383