Fifty-eighth annual meeting of the american association of physicists in medicine
SU-F-I-66: The Effects of Nicotinic Agonists On Rat Hippocampal Glutamatergic Fluctuation by Using Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at 9.4T
Nicotine exerts its effects through the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Varenicline, a smoking cessation aid, is a partial agonist acting at the α4β2 nAChRs. Although nicotine and varenicline contribute to the reward system at the same time, the influence of the substances on hippocampal neurochemical changes has not been investigated yet. We therefore studied the effects of repeated nicotine exposure and varenicline administration on hippocampus of rats by using in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) at 9.4T.
Male Wistar rats (n = 11; mean body weight, 304.9 ± 9.9 g) were divided into 3 groups: control rats (control, n = 3); nicotine-induced rats (nicotine, n = 4); and nicotine- and varenicline-induced rats (varenicline, n = 4). Acquisition of in vivo MRS was conducted by using 9.4 T Agilent Scanner. The linear combination of model spectra (LCModel, version 6.3, Stephen W. Provencher) fitting software was used to quantify the metabolites in the frequency domain, using the basis metabolites.
In this study, the results show the tendency of increased Glu level in nicotine group than in the control and varenicline groups. Moreover, GSH and NAA levels tended to decrease in the nicotine group in comparison with those in the control and varenicline groups.
These findings indicate that the hippocampus is integrally linked to the brain reward sensitization involved in addiction and glutamate release through mobilization of intracellular calcium stores. Further, oxidative stress and toxicity of nicotine on brain would cause the decline of GSH and NAA. In conclusion, we found that varenicline effectively inhibits the reward cycle.