Striatal morphology is associated with tobacco cigarette craving.

TitleStriatal morphology is associated with tobacco cigarette craving.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsJanes AC, Park MTae M, Farmer S, Chakravarty MM
Date Published2015 Jan
KeywordsAdult, Corpus Striatum, Craving, Cues, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Organ Size, Severity of Illness Index, Smoking, Tobacco Use Disorder

The striatum has a clear role in addictive disorders and is involved in drug-related craving. Recently, enhanced striatal volume was associated with greater lifetime nicotine exposure, suggesting a bridge between striatal function and structural phenotypes. To assess this link between striatal structure and function, we evaluated the relationship between striatal morphology and this brain region's well-established role in craving. In tobacco smokers, we assessed striatal volume, surface area, and shape using a new segmentation methodology coupled with local shape indices. Striatal morphology was then related with two measures of craving: state-based craving, assessed by the brief questionnaire of smoking urges (QSU), and craving induced by smoking-related images. A positive association was found between left striatal volume and surface area with both measures of craving. A more specific relationship was found between both craving measures and the dorsal, but not in ventral striatum. Evaluating dorsal striatal subregions showed a single relationship between the caudate and QSU. Although cue-induced craving and the QSU were both associated with enlarged striatal volume and surface area, these measures were differentially associated with global or more local striatal volumes. We also report a connection between greater right striatal shape deformations and cue-induced craving. Shape deformations associated with cue-induced craving were specific to striatal subregions involved in habitual responding to rewarding stimuli, which is relevant given the habitual nature of cue-induced craving. The current findings confirm a relationship between striatal function and morphology and suggest that variation in striatal morphology may be a biomarker for craving severity.

Alternate JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
PubMed ID25056595
PubMed Central IDPMC4443954
Grant ListK01 DA029645 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
K01DA029645 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States