Increased functional connectivity in the resting-state basal ganglia network after acute heroin substitution

Schmidt, A. and Denier, N. and Magon, S. and Radue, E. W. and Huber, C. G. and Riecher-Rössler, A. and Wiesbeck, G. A. and Lang, U. E. and Borgwardt, S. and Walter, M.. (2015) Increased functional connectivity in the resting-state basal ganglia network after acute heroin substitution. Translational Psychiatry, 5. e533.

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Reinforcement signals in the striatum are known to be crucial for mediating the subjective rewarding effects of acute drug intake. It is proposed that these effects may be more involved in early phases of drug addiction, whereas negative reinforcement effects may occur more in later stages of the illness. This study used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore whether acute heroin substitution also induced positive reinforcement effects in striatal brain regions of protracted heroin-maintained patients. Using independent component analysis and a dual regression approach, we compared resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) strengths within the basal ganglia/limbic network across a group of heroin-dependent patients receiving both an acute infusion of heroin and placebo and 20 healthy subjects who received placebo only. Subsequent correlation analyses were performed to test whether the rsFC strength under heroin exposure correlated with the subjective rewarding effect and with plasma concentrations of heroin and its main metabolites morphine. Relative to the placebo treatment in patients, heroin significantly increased rsFC of the left putamen within the basal ganglia/limbic network, the extent of which correlated positively with patients' feelings of rush and with the plasma level of morphine. Furthermore, healthy controls revealed increased rsFC of the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus in this network relative to the placebo treatment in patients. Our results indicate that acute heroin substitution induces a subjective rewarding effect via increased striatal connectivity in heroin-dependent patients, suggesting that positive reinforcement effects in the striatum still occur after protracted maintenance therapy.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie (Riecher-Rössler)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie (Riecher-Rössler)
UniBasel Contributors:Riecher-Rössler, Anita
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:04 Apr 2019 15:51
Deposited On:04 Apr 2019 15:51

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