Cigarette smoking and white matter microstructure
- Matthew HudkinsAffiliated withDivision of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCLA Semel Institute for Neurosciences and Biobehavioral Studies
- , Joseph O’NeillAffiliated withDivision of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCLA Semel Institute for Neurosciences and Biobehavioral Studies Email author
- , Marc C. TobiasAffiliated withLaboratory of Molecular Neuroimaging, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Studies
- , George BartzokisAffiliated withUCLA Brain Research InstituteLaboratory of Neuroimaging, Department of Neurology, Division of Brain Mapping, UCLAGreater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System
- , Edythe D. LondonAffiliated withLaboratory of Molecular Neuroimaging, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Biobehavioral StudiesUCLA Brain Research InstituteUCLA Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
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Diffusion tensor imaging has been used before in testing associations between cigarette smoking and white matter integrity, with inconsistent results. Published reports indicate higher fractional anisotropy (FA, a measure of linear water diffusion) in some brain regions and lower FA in others in adult smokers compared to nonsmokers. Adolescent smokers exhibited elevated FA at several brain regions and a positive correlation of FA in the genu corpus callosum with exposure to smoking (pack-years).
To help resolve prior discrepancies, we studied adults, sampling multiple brain regions, and testing for relationships to clinical features of nicotine dependence and exposure to smoking.
Brain MRI scans (1.5 T) were acquired, and FA and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC, a measure of random diffusion) were assayed in corpus callosum and prefrontal white matter, corona radiata, internal capsule, cingulum bundle, and hippocampal perforant fibers in 18 smokers (33.7 ± 7.9 years of age) and 18 age- and gender-matched nonsmokers.
ADC showed no group difference, but smokers had higher (4.3–21.1%) FA than nonsmokers. The differences were significant in right prefrontal white matter, cingulum, and genu corpus callosum. FA in several regions was negatively correlated with nicotine dependence or cigarettes/day.
Combined with earlier findings, these results suggest a model of changing trajectories whereby FA is higher with tobacco exposure during adolescence and declines with continued smoking in adulthood. This notion is supported by the observation that, at multiple sampling sites, participants who had started smoking earlier in life had higher FA than those who had started later.
KeywordsWhite matter Diffusion tensor imaging Nicotine dependence Magnetic resonance imaging Fractional anisotropy Tobacco
- Cigarette smoking and white matter microstructure
Volume 221, Issue 2 , pp 285-295
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
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- White matter
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- Nicotine dependence
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Fractional anisotropy
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- Author Affiliations
- 1. Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCLA Semel Institute for Neurosciences and Biobehavioral Studies, 760 Westwood Plaza #58-227A, Los Angeles, CA, 90024-1759, USA
- 2. Laboratory of Molecular Neuroimaging, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Studies, Los Angeles, CA, USA
- 3. UCLA Brain Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA
- 4. Laboratory of Neuroimaging, Department of Neurology, Division of Brain Mapping, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
- 5. Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA, USA
- 6. UCLA Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Los Angeles, CA, USA