Abstinence-Induced Nicotine Seeking Relays on a Persistent Hypoglutamatergic State within the Amygdalo-Striatal Neurocircuitry

Ana Domi, Esi Domi, Oona Lagstrom, Francesco Gobbo, Elisabet Jerlhag, Louise Adermark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Nicotine robustly sustains smoking behavior by acting as a primary reinforcer and by enhancing the incentive salience of the nicotine-associated stimuli. The motivational effects produced by environmental cues associated with nicotine delivery can progressively manifest during abstinence resulting in reinstatement of nicotine seeking. However, how the activity in reward neuronal circuits is transformed during abstinence-induced nicotine seeking is not yet fully understood. In here we used a contingent nicotine and saline control self-administration model to disentangle the contribution of cue-elicited seeking responding for nicotine after drug abstinence in male Wistar rats. Using ex vivo electrophysiological recordings and a network analysis approach, we defined temporal and brain-region specific amygdalo-striatal glutamatergic alterations that occur during nicotine abstinence. The results from this study provide critical evidence indicating a persistent hypoglutamatergic state within the amygdalo-striatal neurocircuitry over protracted nicotine abstinence. During abstinence-induced nicotine seeking, electrophysiological recordings showed progressive neuroadaptations in dorsal and ventral striatum already at 14-d abstinence while neuroadaptations in subregions of the amygdala emerged only after 28-d abstinence. The observed neuroadaptations pointed to a brain network involving the amygdala and the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) to be implied in cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking. Together these data suggest long-lasting neuroadaptations that might reflect neuroplastic changes responsible to abstinence-induced nicotine craving. Neurophysiological transformations were detected within a time window that allows therapeutic intervention advancing clinical development of preventive strategies in nicotine addiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Rats
  • Animals
  • Male
  • Nicotine/pharmacology
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tobacco Use Disorder
  • Craving/physiology
  • Amygdala
  • Self Administration
  • Cues
  • Drug-Seeking Behavior
  • Extinction, Psychological


Dive into the research topics of 'Abstinence-Induced Nicotine Seeking Relays on a Persistent Hypoglutamatergic State within the Amygdalo-Striatal Neurocircuitry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this