Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2012 Aug;15(7):989-94. doi: 10.1017/S1461145711001957. Epub 2012 Jan 16.

Sex differences in striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability in smokers and non-smokers.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


In previous research, nicotine-dependent men exhibited lower putamen D2/D3 dopamine-receptor availability than non-smokers (Fehr et al. 2008), but parallel assessments were not performed in women. Women and men (19 light smokers, 18 non-smokers) were tested for differences due to sex and smoking in striatal D(2)/D(3) dopamine-receptor availability, using positron emission tomography with [(18)F]fallypride. Receptor availability was determined using a reference region method, in striatal volumes and in whole-brain, voxel-wise analysis. Significant sex × smoking interactions were observed in the caudate nuclei and putamen. Post-hoc t tests showed that male smokers had significantly lower D(2)/D(3) dopamine-receptor availability than female smokers (-17% caudate, -21% putamen) and male non-smokers (-15% caudate, -16% putamen). Female smokers did not differ from non-smokers. Whole-brain analysis demonstrated no statistically significant voxels or clusters. These results suggest that low receptor availability may confer vulnerability to nicotine dependence or that smoking selectively affects D2/D3 receptor down-regulation in men but not women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center