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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov




Effects of chronic caffeine intake and withdrawal on neural activity assessed via resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in mice.


Rikitake M, Notake S, Kurokawa K, Hata J, Seki F, Komaki Y, Oshiro H, Kawaguchi N, Haga Y, Yoshimaru D, Ito K, James Okano H
Heliyon. 2022 Nov; 8(11):e11714.
PMID: 36439771.


Caffeine is a psychoactive substance that not only improves wakefulness, but also slows the cognitive decline caused by aging. However, at present, there are no reports about the effects of caffeine withdrawal, including headaches and changes in brain functional networks (nerve activity). Headache may occur approximately 24 h after discontinuing caffeine intake in chronic caffeine drinkers. The current study aimed to examine the brain functional activity via resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in chronically caffeinated and decaffeinated groups to investigate changes in brain activity caused by caffeine. C57BL/6J mice were included in the analysis, and they underwent 9.4-T ultrahigh-field magnetic resonance imaging. The mice were classified into the control, chronic caffeinated, and caffeine withdrawal grsoups. Mice were divided into three groups: 1) not exposed to caffeine (control); 2) treated with caffeine at a concentration of 0.3 mg/mL for 4 weeks (chronic caffeinated); and 3) treated as before with caffeine and withdrawn from caffeine for 24 h. After the three groups were examined, functional connectivity matrices were calculated using brain imaging analysis tools, and independent component analysis was performed. The results showed that caffeine administration activated neural activity areas in the stress response system. Furthermore, 24h after caffeine withdrawal, the results showed an increase in pain-related neural activity. In addition, caffeine administration was shown to activate the dentate gyrus, one of the hippocampal regions, and to decrease the neural activity in the olfactory bulb and anterior cingulate cortex. In the current research, the neural activity of specific brain regions changed after chronic caffeine administration and withdrawal.