Sex differences in nicotine effects and self-administration: review of human and animal evidence.
ABSTRACT Although both the human and animal literatures are notable for the general lack of attention paid to possible sex differences in drug self-administration behavior, evidence is accumulating to suggest that males and females may differ in factors that maintain tobacco smoking or nicotine self-administration. Self-administration of nicotine per se may be less robust in women, and women are less sensitive than men to some effects of nicotine that may be reinforcing. Compared to men, smoking behavior of women may be influenced more by non-nicotine stimuli associated with smoking, suggesting greater conditioned reinforcement of smoking in women. Moreover, nicotine replacement, the current standard treatment for smoking cessation, is sometimes less effective in women, further suggesting the need for greater consideration of non-nicotine factors that may maintain women's smoking. Very recent research on rats also indicates sex differences in nicotine self-administration. However, these differences are complex and suggest that nicotine-seeking behavior is composed of several components, including hedonic, incentive-motivational, and conditioning effects; males and females may differ in one or more of these components. Menstrual or estrous cycle phase effects on the maintenance of nicotine self-administration are not particularly apparent in humans or animals, although cycle phase may influence other stages of dependence (e.g., withdrawal symptoms during cessation). Future research should evaluate further the consistency of results across human and non-human species, identify the conditions and procedures under which sex differences are observed, and elucidate the specific components of reinforcement that may differ between males and females. Studies also should examine the possible generalizability of these sex differences to other drugs of abuse. Identification of specific factors responsible for these sex differences may lead to improved interventions for smoking cessation and other substance abuse in women.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Eric C Donny, Jul 25, 2014
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ABSTRACT: We examined the influence of gender and smoking status on reactivity in two human laboratory stress paradigms. Participants were 46 (21 men, 25 women) healthy individuals who completed the Trier Social Stress Task (i.e., performed speech and math calculations in front of an audience) and a pharmacological stress provocation (i.e., administration of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH)) after an overnight hospital stay. Approximately half (53%) of the participants were smokers. Cortisol, adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ACTH), physiologic measures (heart rate, blood pressure), and subjective stress were assessed at baseline and at several time points post-task. Men demonstrated higher baseline ACTH and blood pressure as compared to women; however, ACTH and blood pressure responses were more pronounced in women. Women smokers evidenced a more blunted cortisol response as compared to non-smoking women, whereas smoking status did not affect the cortisol response in men. Finally, there was a more robust cardiovascular and subjective response to the Trier as compared to the CRH. Although preliminary, the findings suggest that women may be more sensitive than men to the impact of cigarette smoking on cortisol response. In addition, there is some evidence for a more robust neuroendocrine and physiologic response to acute laboratory stress in women as compared to men.Psychoneuroendocrinology 07/2008; 33(5):560-8. DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2008.01.012 · 5.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies of smoking on dopamine release in humans were investigated only in smokers. Using nicotine gum, we examined the effect of nicotine on dopamine release in smokers and non-smokers and its relation to the degree of nicotine dependence. Smokers and non-smokers participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over study. They participated in two PET measurements with [11C]raclopride, in which they received either nicotine or placebo. Changes in [11C]raclopride non-displaceable binding potential (BPND) following nicotine administration were quantified. Smokers showed significant decrease in BP in the striatum following nicotine administration, but non-smokers did not show such a decrease. The BPND difference between the two scanning sessions was correlated with the degree of nicotine dependence. The BPND difference might reflect enhanced dopamine release in smokers and the reinforced effect of nicotine. These data suggest the feasibility of our gum method as well as the importance of the degree of dependence in future studies of the nicotine effect on the dopamine system.The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 06/2008; 11(3):413-7. DOI:10.1017/S1461145707008103 · 5.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We investigated the impact of the administration of a tyrosine-depleting amino acid mixture compared to a balanced mixture on measures of mood, craving and selective processing of smoking-related cues in healthy cigarette smokers instructed to abstain from smoking for 12 h prior to, and during, the experiment. A modified stroop task was used to index selective processing of smoking-related cues. We observed evidence for an increase in subjective craving among males, and an attenuation of the selective processing of smoking-related cues compared to control cues among females, in the tyrosine-depleting condition compared to the balanced condition. No effects of mixture were observed on measures of subjective mood. These results tentatively support for the role of dopaminergic neurotransmission in mediating the response of cigarette smokers to smoking-related cues. In addition, these results also provide further evidence for sex differences in the factors that maintain cigarette smoking, in particular with respect to conditioned reinforcement of smoking behaviour, and suggest that the relationship between subjective craving and selective processing of smoking-related cues may differ in males and females.Journal of Psychopharmacology 12/2007; 21(8):805-14. DOI:10.1177/0269881107077216 · 2.81 Impact Factor