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.
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ABSTRACT: Smoking cigarettes is a gendered activity with sex- and gender-specific uptake trends and cessation patterns. While global male smoking rates have peaked, female rates are set to escalate in the 21st century, especially in low and middle income countries. Hence, smoking cessation for women will be an ongoing issue and requires refreshed attention. Public health and health promotion messages are being challenged to be increasingly tailored, taking gender into account. Women-centred approaches that include harm-reduction, motivational interviewing and trauma-informed elements are the new frontiers in interventions to encourage smoking cessation for women. Such approaches are linked to the meanings of smoking to women, the adaptive function of, and the overall role of smoking cigarettes in the context of women's lives. These approaches respect gender and sex-related factors that affect smoking and smoking cessation and respond to these issues, not by reinforcing destructive or negative gender norms, but with insight. This article discusses a women-centred approach to smoking cessation that could underpin initiatives in clinical, community or public health settings and could inform campaigns and messaging.International journal of environmental research and public health. 01/2015; 12(2):1449-65.
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ABSTRACT: Evidence from alcohol self-administration studies suggests that nicotine replacement therapy may influence subjective and behavioral responses to alcohol. However, its effect on alcohol cue-reactivity is unknown. The present study examined the impact of acutely administered nicotine on subjective responses to alcohol-focused pictorial stimuli. In a mixed within/between-subjects design, nondependent smokers (n = 51) and dependent smokers (n = 45) who socially drink were assigned to either a nicotine (4 mg) or placebo lozenge condition following overnight tobacco abstinence. Following lozenge absorption, participants viewed neutral images followed by alcohol-focused pictures. Craving measures for alcohol and tobacco were completed at baseline, following lozenge absorption, following neutral cues, and following alcohol cues. The presentation of alcohol cues increased alcohol-related craving relative to neutral cues, especially among men, but the administration of nicotine did not influence the magnitude of these effects. Nicotine lozenges were found to decrease intentions to smoke and withdrawal-related craving in dependent but not in nondependent smokers. Finally, the presentation of alcohol cues was found to increase intentions to smoke relative to neutral cues across participants regardless of lozenge condition. Findings suggest that although the presentation of alcohol cues can increase alcohol- and tobacco-related cravings in smokers, such effects do not appear to be affected by acute nicotine administration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology. 02/2015; 23(1):29-36.
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ABSTRACT: Reconfiguration of extracellular matrix proteins appears to be necessary for the synaptic plasticity that underlies memory consolidation. The primary candidates involved in controlling this process are a family of endopeptidases called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs); however, the potential role of MMPs in nicotine addiction-related memories has not been adequately tested. Present results indicate transient changes in hippocampal MMP-2, -3, and -9 expression following context dependent learning of nicotine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). Members of a CPP procedural control group also indicated similar MMP changes, suggesting that memory activation occurred in these animals as well. However, hippocampal MMP-9 expression was differentially elevated in members of the nicotine-induced CPP group on days 4 and 5 of training. Inhibition of MMPs using a broad spectrum MMP inhibitor (FN439) during nicotine-induced CPP training blocked the acquisition of CPP. Elevations in hippocampal and prefrontal cortex MMP-3 expression-but not MMP-2 and -9-accompanied reactivation of a previously learned drug related memory. Decreases in the actin regulatory cytoskeletal protein cortactin were measured in the HIP and PFC during the initial two days of acquisition of CPP; however, no changes were seen following re-exposure to the drug related environment. These results suggest that MMP-9 may be involved in facilitating the intracellular and extracellular events required for the synaptic plasticity underlying the acquisition of nicotine-induced CPP. Furthermore, MMP-3 appears to be important during re-exposure to the drug associated environment. However, rats introduced into the CPP apparatus and given injections of vehicle rather than nicotine during training also revealed a pattern of MMP expression similar to nicotine-induced CPP animals.Journal of Experimental Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:1-14.