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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

1H-Nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomic analysis of brain in mice with nicotine treatment

Hongyu Li, Bo Chen, Xue Shao, Zhengtao Hu, Yi Deng, Ruiming Zhu, Yan Li, Baolai Zhang, Jing Hou, Changman Du, Qian Zhao, Dengqi Fu, Qian Bu, Yinglan Zhao and Xiaobo Cen*

Author Affiliations

National Chengdu Center for Safety Evaluation of Drugs, State Key Lab of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, 28# Gaopeng Avenue, High Technological Development Zone, Chengdu 610041, China

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BMC Neuroscience 2014, 15:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-15-32

Published: 22 February 2014

Abstract

Background

Nicotine is rapidly absorbed from cigarette smoke and therefore induces a number of chronic illnesses with the widespread use of tobacco products. Studies have shown a few cerebral metabolites modified by nicotine; however, endogenous metabolic profiling in brain has not been well explored.

Results

H NMR-based on metabonomics was applied to investigate the endogenous metabolic profiling of brain hippocampus, nucleus acumens (NAc), prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum. We found that nicotine significantly increased CPP in mice, and some specific cerebral metabolites differentially changed in nicotine-treated mice. These modified metabolites included glutamate, acetylcholine, tryptamine, glucose, lactate, creatine, 3-hydroxybutyrate and nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which was closely associated with neurotransmitter and energy source. Additionally, glutathione and taurine in hippocampus and striatum, phosphocholine in PFC and glycerol in NAc were significantly modified by nicotine, implying the dysregulation of anti-oxidative stress response and membrane metabolism.

Conclusions

Nicotine induces significant metabonomic alterations in brain, which are involved in neurotransmitter disturbance, energy metabolism dysregulation, anti-oxidation and membrane function disruptions, as well as amino acid metabolism imbalance. These findings provide a new insight into rewarding effects of nicotine and the underlying mechanism.

Keywords:
Metabolomics; Nicotine; Metabolite; NMR; Place preference