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  Neurometabolic alterations in the nucleus accumbens of smokers assessed with 1 H magnetic resonance spectroscopy: The role of glutamate and neuroinflammation

Steinegger, C., Zoelch, N., Hock, A., Henning, A., Engeli, E., Seifritz, E., et al. (2021). Neurometabolic alterations in the nucleus accumbens of smokers assessed with 1 H magnetic resonance spectroscopy: The role of glutamate and neuroinflammation. Addiction Biology, 26(6), 1-12. doi:10.1111/adb.13027.

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Steinegger, CA, Author
Zoelch, N, Author
Hock, A, Author
Henning, A1, 2, Author              
Engeli, EJE, Author
Seifritz, E, Author
Hulka, LM, Author
Herdener, M, Author
Affiliations:
1Research Group MR Spectroscopy and Ultra-High Field Methodology, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_2528692              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of premature death and morbidity worldwide. For smokers trying to quit, relapse rates are high, even after prolonged periods of abstinence. Recent findings in animal models highlight the role of alterations in glutamatergic projections from the prefrontal cortex onto the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in relapse vulnerability. Moreover, inflammatory responses in the NAc have been reported during withdrawal. A novel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1 H-MRS) protocol was applied in humans to measure molar concentrations for glutamate, its sum with glutamine (Glx), and myoinositol plus glycine (mI + Gly) in the NAc (19 smokers, 20 matched controls). Smokers were measured at baseline and during withdrawal and satiation. No difference between groups or smoking states was found for glutamate or Glx, but, in smokers, stronger craving and more severe nicotine dependence were associated with lower baseline glutamate and Glx levels, respectively. Interestingly, mI + Gly concentrations were higher during withdrawal than baseline and correlated negatively with nicotine dependence severity and pack years of smoking. The lack of glutamatergic changes between groups and smoking states may imply that glutamate homeostasis is not significantly altered in smokers or that changes are too small for detection by 1 H-MRS. Moreover, the observed increase in mI + Gly may imply that neuroinflammatory processes occur in the NAc during nicotine withdrawal. These findings shed light on neurobiological relapse mechanisms in smokers and may provide the opportunity to develop more effective treatment options targeting the glutamate and neuroinflammation system.

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 Dates: 2021-042021-11
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1111/adb.13027
eDoc: e13027
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Title: Addiction Biology
  Other : Addict. Biol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK : Carfax
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 26 (6) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1 - 12 Identifier: ISSN: 1355-6215
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925277561