Sex differences in negative affective response during nicotine withdrawal

Department of Psychology, The University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.
Psychophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.99). 08/2006; 43(4):344-56. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2006.00406.x
Source: PubMed


This study examined physiological indicants of the neurobiological mediators of negative affect during acute nicotine withdrawal. Eighty subjects (41 male) were assigned to one of four groups (24-h deprived or nondeprived dependent smokers, occasional smokers, and nonsmokers) and participated in an instructed fear conditioning paradigm involving cued administration of electric shock. Negative affective response was measured with fear-potentiated startle during cues that signaled electric shock and during the postcue offset recovery period. Salivary cortisol and self-report measures were also collected. Fear-potentiated startle results indicated that affective recovery postcue offset was delayed in nicotine-deprived women. Nicotine-deprived women also displayed elevated cortisol levels throughout the fear conditioning procedure.

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Available from: John Curtin, Jun 09, 2014
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    • "However, except for weight gain, the perceived risks did not differ by gender among non-treatment seeking smokers (Weinberger, Mazure & McKee, 2008). In addition, gender differences in nicotine withdrawal symptoms have been explicated in light of female hormones affecting faster nicotine metabolism, which results in more severe withdrawal symptoms compared with men (Allen, Allen, Widenmier & Al'absi, 2009; Carpenter, Upadhyaya, La Rowe, Saladin & Brady, 2006; Hogle & Curtin, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: This study examined factors predicting nicotine withdrawal symptoms following quitting among Korean American smokers who were receiving counseling and nicotine replacement therapy. Methods: The sample comprised 90 Korean American smokers selected from a two-arm randomised controlled trial of a smoking cessation intervention (culturally adapted versus treatment as usual). Nicotine withdrawal symptoms were assessed weekly for the first four weeks from the target quit day, using the Minnesota Nicotine Withdrawal Scale (MNWS). Only those who participated in two or more weekly assessments of the symptoms were included. Results: Among the nine withdrawal symptoms listed in the MNWS, craving and disturbed sleep decreased over time whereas the remaining symptoms had no significant effect of time. Women or individuals who perceived greater risks of quitting smoking reported more withdrawal symptoms after controlling for abstinence status. Although withdrawal symptoms did not change, on average, with time, the rates of change varied randomly across individuals. Women reported more withdrawal symptoms in the first week after quitting and showed a higher rate of decline of the symptoms over time than men. Conclusions: Korean American smokers who are women or who perceive greater risks of quitting smoking may require more intensive treatment to effectively deal with post-quit withdrawal symptoms.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Journal of Smoking Cessation
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    • "Accordingly, women also report higher levels of stress during abstinence from tobacco than men (Schnoll et al., 2007; Perkins and Scott, 2008; Xu et al., 2008; Perkins et al., 2012; Saladin et al., 2012). In addition, women display higher levels of cortisol (a biological marker of stress in humans) during tobacco abstinence as compared to men (Hogle and Curtin, 2006). These studies suggest that stress is an important factor that contributes to tobacco use in women. "
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    ABSTRACT: Stress is a major factor that promotes tobacco use and relapse during withdrawal. Although women are more vulnerable to tobacco use than men, the manner in which stress contributes to tobacco use in women versus men is unclear. Thus, the goal of this study was to compare behavioral and biological indices of stress in male and female rats during nicotine withdrawal. Since the effects of nicotine withdrawal are age-dependent, this study also included adolescent rats. An initial study was conducted to provide comparable nicotine doses across age and sex during nicotine exposure and withdrawal. Rats received sham surgery or an osmotic pump that delivered nicotine. After 14 days of nicotine, the pumps were removed and controls received a sham surgery. Twenty-four hours later, anxiety-like behavior and plasma corticosterone were assessed. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc), amygdala, and hypothalamus were examined for changes in corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) gene expression. In order to differentiate the effects of nicotine withdrawal from exposure to nicotine, a cohort of rats did not have their pumps removed. The major finding is that during nicotine withdrawal, adult females display higher levels of anxiety-like behavior, plasma corticosterone, and CRF mRNA expression in the NAcc relative to adult males. However, during nicotine exposure, adult males exhibited higher levels of corticosterone and CRF mRNA in the amygdala relative to females. Adolescents displayed less nicotine withdrawal than adults. Moreover, adolescent males displayed an increase in anxiety-like behavior and an up-regulation of CRF mRNA in the amygdala during nicotine exposure and withdrawal. These findings are likely related to stress produced by the high doses of nicotine that were administered to adolescents to produce equivalent levels of cotinine as adults. In conclusion, these findings suggest that intense stress produced by nicotine withdrawal may contribute to tobacco use in women.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Frontiers in Psychiatry
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    • "Koob's allostasis model is not specific to substances (Lovallo, 2006), nor is it clear why diurnal dysregulation would be specific to smoking whereas alcohol would impact morning cortisol. Prior studies have found that higher cortisol is associated with nicotine withdrawal (Granger et al., 2007; Hogle & Curtin, 2006; Ussher et al., 2006); the blunted diurnal rhythm may indicate a growing accumulation of withdrawal or number of use/withdrawal cycles in cigarette smokers by the afternoon/evening hours. Morning cortisol levels, on the other hand, does not likely reflect acute alcohol intake. "
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    ABSTRACT: The concept of allostasis suggests that greater cumulative stress burden can influence stress-responsive physiology. Dysregulation of allostatic mediators, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, is thought to precede many other signs of age-related pathology as the persistent burden of stressors accumulates over the individual's life span. We predicted that even in young adulthood, HPA regulation would differ between Blacks and Whites, reflecting, in part, higher rates of stressor exposure and greater potential for stressors to "get under the skin." We examined whether stressor exposure, including experiences with racism and discrimination, explained race differences in waking cortisol and the diurnal rhythm. We also examined whether HPA functioning was associated with mental health outcomes previously linked to cortisol. Salivary cortisol was assayed in 275 young adults (127 Blacks, 148 Whites, 19 to 22 years old), four times a day across 3 days. Hierarchical linear models revealed flatter slopes for Blacks, reflecting significantly lower waking and higher bedtime cortisol levels compared to Whites. Associations of HPA functioning with stressors were typically more robust for Whites such that more stress exposure created an HPA profile that resembled that of Black young adults. For Blacks, greater stressor exposure did not further impact HPA functioning, or, when significant, was often associated with higher cortisol levels. Across both races, flatter slopes generally indicated greater HPA dysregulation and were associated with poor mental health outcomes. These differential effects were more robust for Whites. These findings support an allostatic model in which social contextual factors influence normal biorhythms, even as early as young adulthood.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Development and Psychopathology
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