Glial cells as therapeutic targets for smoking cessation

Mohit Kumar, Adewale Adeluyi, Erin L. Anderson, Jill R. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Smoking remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, with less than 5% of smokers attempting to quit succeeding. This low smoking cessation success rate is thought to be due to the long-term adaptations and alterations in synaptic plasticity that occur following chronic nicotine exposure and withdrawal. Glial cells have recently emerged as active players in the development of dependence phenotypes due to their roles in modulating neuronal functions and synaptic plasticity. Fundamental studies have demonstrated that microglia and astrocytes are crucial for synapse formation and elimination in the developing brain, likely contributing to why glial dysfunction is implicated in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders. Recently, there is increasing evidence for the involvement of glial cells in drug dependence and its associated behavioral manifestations. This review summarizes the newly evaluated role of microglia and astrocytes as molecular drivers of nicotine dependence and withdrawal phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108157
StatePublished - Sep 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Astrocytes
  • Dependence
  • Microglia
  • Nicotine
  • Smoking
  • Withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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