Nicotinic, glutamatergic and dopaminergic synaptic transmission and plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system: Focus on nicotine effects

Francesco Pistillo, Francesco Clementi, Michele Zoli, Cecilia Gotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cigarette smoking is currently the leading cause of preventable deaths and disability throughout the world, being responsible for about five million premature deaths/year. Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of tobacco users who try to stop smoking actually manage to do so. The main addictive agent delivered by cigarette smoke is nicotine, which induces psychostimulation and reward, and reduces stress and anxiety.The use of new technologies (including optogenetics) and the development of mouse models characterised by cell-specific deletions of receptor subtype genes or the expression of gain-of-function nAChR subunits has greatly increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and neural substrates of nicotine addiction first revealed by classic electrophysiological, neurochemical and behavioural approaches. It is now becoming clear that various aspects of nicotine dependence are mediated by close interactions of the glutamatergic, dopaminergic and γ-aminobutyric acidergic systems in the mesocorticolimbic system.This review is divided into two parts. The first provides an updated overview of the circuitry of the ventral tegmental area, ventral striatum and prefrontal cortex, the neurotransmitter receptor subtypes expressed in these areas, and their physiological role in the mesocorticolimbic system. The second will focus on the molecular, functional and behavioural mechanisms involved in the acute and chronic effects of nicotine on the mesocorticolimbic system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalProgress in Neurobiology
Volume124
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

Neuronal Plasticity
Nicotine
Synaptic Transmission
Smoking
Optogenetics
Tobacco Use Disorder
Ventral Tegmental Area
Neurotransmitter Receptor
Premature Mortality
Prefrontal Cortex
Reward
Smoke
Tobacco Products
Tobacco
Cause of Death
Anxiety
Technology
Gene Expression

Keywords

  • Mesocorticolimbic system
  • Nicotine
  • Nicotine addiction
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Nicotinic, glutamatergic and dopaminergic synaptic transmission and plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system : Focus on nicotine effects. / Pistillo, Francesco; Clementi, Francesco; Zoli, Michele; Gotti, Cecilia.

In: Progress in Neurobiology, Vol. 124, 01.01.2015, p. 1-27.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pistillo, Francesco ; Clementi, Francesco ; Zoli, Michele ; Gotti, Cecilia. / Nicotinic, glutamatergic and dopaminergic synaptic transmission and plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system : Focus on nicotine effects. In: Progress in Neurobiology. 2015 ; Vol. 124. pp. 1-27.
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