Alcohol-Related Olfactory Cues Activate the Nucleus Accumbens and Ventral Tegmental Area in High-Risk Drinkers: Preliminary Findings

David Kareken, Eric D. Claus, Merav Sabri, Mario Dzemidzic, Ann Kosobud, Alexander Radnovich, Dwight Hector, Vijay A. Ramchandani, Sean O'Connor, Mark Lowe, Ting Kai Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system is implicated in motivation and reward and may be involved in the development of alcoholism. Methods: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to alcohol-related olfactory stimuli (AROS; odors of beer and whiskey) and non-alcohol-related olfactory stimuli (NAROS; odors of grass and leather) in 10 high-risk (HR) drinkers (average drinks per week, 19.99; SD, 6.99; all with ≥2 first- or second-degree alcoholic relatives) and 5 low-risk (LR) social drinking controls (drinks per week, 2.82; SD, 2.87; 1 subject had 1 second-degree alcoholic relative). Data were analyzed with SPM99 and random effects analysis by using regions of interest and corrected cluster statistics (p < 0.05) to focus on the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Results: In HR subjects, there was a greater BOLD signal increase in the NAc during AROS than during clean air. BOLD signal increases during AROS were also greater in the NAc than the signal increases induced by NAROS. The AROS signal was significantly greater than the NAROS signal in a small number of voxels in the VTA. Finally, the AROS/NAROS difference signal was larger in HR drinkers in both the NAc and VTA. Conclusions: Alcoholic olfactory cues may invoke the dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic system to a greater degree than nonalcoholic odors and could be effective tools in exploring the role of the dopamine system in susceptibility to alcoholism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-557
Number of pages8
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Fingerprint

Ventral Tegmental Area
Nucleus Accumbens
Cues
Odors
Alcohols
Blood
Oxygen
Alcoholism
Dopamine
Beer
Leather
Poaceae
Reward
Drinking
Motivation
Air
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Statistics
Odorants

Keywords

  • Nucleus Accumbens
  • Olfactory Cues
  • Risk Factors
  • Ventral Tegmental Area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology

Cite this

Alcohol-Related Olfactory Cues Activate the Nucleus Accumbens and Ventral Tegmental Area in High-Risk Drinkers : Preliminary Findings. / Kareken, David; Claus, Eric D.; Sabri, Merav; Dzemidzic, Mario; Kosobud, Ann; Radnovich, Alexander; Hector, Dwight; Ramchandani, Vijay A.; O'Connor, Sean; Lowe, Mark; Li, Ting Kai.

In: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol. 28, No. 4, 04.2004, p. 550-557.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system is implicated in motivation and reward and may be involved in the development of alcoholism. Methods: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to alcohol-related olfactory stimuli (AROS; odors of beer and whiskey) and non-alcohol-related olfactory stimuli (NAROS; odors of grass and leather) in 10 high-risk (HR) drinkers (average drinks per week, 19.99; SD, 6.99; all with ≥2 first- or second-degree alcoholic relatives) and 5 low-risk (LR) social drinking controls (drinks per week, 2.82; SD, 2.87; 1 subject had 1 second-degree alcoholic relative). Data were analyzed with SPM99 and random effects analysis by using regions of interest and corrected cluster statistics (p < 0.05) to focus on the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Results: In HR subjects, there was a greater BOLD signal increase in the NAc during AROS than during clean air. BOLD signal increases during AROS were also greater in the NAc than the signal increases induced by NAROS. The AROS signal was significantly greater than the NAROS signal in a small number of voxels in the VTA. Finally, the AROS/NAROS difference signal was larger in HR drinkers in both the NAc and VTA. Conclusions: Alcoholic olfactory cues may invoke the dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic system to a greater degree than nonalcoholic odors and could be effective tools in exploring the role of the dopamine system in susceptibility to alcoholism.",
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T1 - Alcohol-Related Olfactory Cues Activate the Nucleus Accumbens and Ventral Tegmental Area in High-Risk Drinkers

T2 - Preliminary Findings

AU - Kareken, David

AU - Claus, Eric D.

AU - Sabri, Merav

AU - Dzemidzic, Mario

AU - Kosobud, Ann

AU - Radnovich, Alexander

AU - Hector, Dwight

AU - Ramchandani, Vijay A.

AU - O'Connor, Sean

AU - Lowe, Mark

AU - Li, Ting Kai

PY - 2004/4

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N2 - Background: The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system is implicated in motivation and reward and may be involved in the development of alcoholism. Methods: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to alcohol-related olfactory stimuli (AROS; odors of beer and whiskey) and non-alcohol-related olfactory stimuli (NAROS; odors of grass and leather) in 10 high-risk (HR) drinkers (average drinks per week, 19.99; SD, 6.99; all with ≥2 first- or second-degree alcoholic relatives) and 5 low-risk (LR) social drinking controls (drinks per week, 2.82; SD, 2.87; 1 subject had 1 second-degree alcoholic relative). Data were analyzed with SPM99 and random effects analysis by using regions of interest and corrected cluster statistics (p < 0.05) to focus on the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Results: In HR subjects, there was a greater BOLD signal increase in the NAc during AROS than during clean air. BOLD signal increases during AROS were also greater in the NAc than the signal increases induced by NAROS. The AROS signal was significantly greater than the NAROS signal in a small number of voxels in the VTA. Finally, the AROS/NAROS difference signal was larger in HR drinkers in both the NAc and VTA. Conclusions: Alcoholic olfactory cues may invoke the dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic system to a greater degree than nonalcoholic odors and could be effective tools in exploring the role of the dopamine system in susceptibility to alcoholism.

AB - Background: The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system is implicated in motivation and reward and may be involved in the development of alcoholism. Methods: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to alcohol-related olfactory stimuli (AROS; odors of beer and whiskey) and non-alcohol-related olfactory stimuli (NAROS; odors of grass and leather) in 10 high-risk (HR) drinkers (average drinks per week, 19.99; SD, 6.99; all with ≥2 first- or second-degree alcoholic relatives) and 5 low-risk (LR) social drinking controls (drinks per week, 2.82; SD, 2.87; 1 subject had 1 second-degree alcoholic relative). Data were analyzed with SPM99 and random effects analysis by using regions of interest and corrected cluster statistics (p < 0.05) to focus on the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Results: In HR subjects, there was a greater BOLD signal increase in the NAc during AROS than during clean air. BOLD signal increases during AROS were also greater in the NAc than the signal increases induced by NAROS. The AROS signal was significantly greater than the NAROS signal in a small number of voxels in the VTA. Finally, the AROS/NAROS difference signal was larger in HR drinkers in both the NAc and VTA. Conclusions: Alcoholic olfactory cues may invoke the dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic system to a greater degree than nonalcoholic odors and could be effective tools in exploring the role of the dopamine system in susceptibility to alcoholism.

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KW - Olfactory Cues

KW - Risk Factors

KW - Ventral Tegmental Area

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