The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology



Gender: a major determinant of brain response to nicotine


James H. Fallon a1, David B. Keator a2, James Mbogori a3, Derek Taylor a2 and Steven G. Potkin a3c1
a1 Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, BIRN-RP, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
a2 Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, BIRN-RP, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
a3 Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brain Imaging Center, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

Article author query
fallon jh   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
keator db   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mbogori j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
taylor d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
potkin sg   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Biological factors responsible for nicotine initiation and dependence are largely unknown. Men and women smoke differently, and may smoke for different reasons. Brain metabolic response to nicotine may explain gender differences in nicotine use. We used FDG-PET to measure brain metabolic response on placebo and following nicotine administered by patch in 42 females and 77 males (smokers and non-smokers) while performing a Continuous Performance Task (CPT) or the Bushman Competition and Retaliation Task (CRT). Nicotine administration affected brain metabolism much differently in males and females, and these differences were dependent on task and smoking history. In the placebo condition female smokers performing the CPT and female non-smokers performing the CRT consistently had higher brain metabolism than males, especially in the entire prefrontal system and the mid and anterior temporal lobe, language cortices, and related subcortical systems. The overall effect of nicotine was to decrease these gender differences in brain metabolism.

(Received February 10 2004)
(Reviewed May 11 2004)
(Revised July 6 2004)
(Accepted July 7 2004)


Key Words: Brain imaging; gender; nicotine; PET; smoking.

Correspondence:
c1 Dr S. G. Potkin, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brain Imaging Center, University of California, Irvine, Irvine Hall, Room 163 Irvine, CA 92697-3960, USA. Tel.: 949-824-8040 Fax: 949-824-7873 E-mail: sgpotkin@uci.edu