Anxiety and Nicotine Dependence: Emerging Role of the Habenulo-Interpeduncular Axis
Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry
Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction
While innovative modern neuroscience approaches have aided in discerning brain circuitry underlying negative emotional behaviors including fear and anxiety responses, how these circuits are recruited in normal and pathological conditions remains poorly understood. Recently, genetic tools that selectively manipulate single neuronal populations have uncovered an understudied circuit, the medial habenula (mHb)-interpeduncular (IPN) axis, that modulates basal negative emotional responses. Interestingly, the mHb-IPN pathway also represents an essential circuit that signals heightened anxiety induced by nicotine withdrawal. Insights into how this circuit interconnects with regions more classically associated with anxiety, and how chronic nicotine exposure induces neuroadaptations resulting in an anxiogenic state, may thereby provide novel strategies and molecular targets for therapies that facilitate smoking cessation, as well as for anxiety relief.
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Citation: Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2017 Feb;38(2):169-180.Link to article on publisher's site
anxiety, fear, interpeduncular nucleus, medial habenula, nicotine withdrawal
Molas-Casacuberta, Susanna; Degroot, Steven; Zhao-Shea, Rubing; and Tapper, Andrew R., "Anxiety and Nicotine Dependence: Emerging Role of the Habenulo-Interpeduncular Axis" (2017). Psychiatry Publications and Presentations. 761.