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, M Chakravarty M
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