Sex differences in conditioned nicotine reward are age-specific

Magalie Lenoir, Amy K. Starosciak, Jennifer Ledon, Caitlin Booth, Elena Zakharova, Dean Wade, Beatrice Vignoli, Sari Izenwasser
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 2015-05-01; 132: 56-62
DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2015.02.019

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Women constitute half of all smokers and many studies suggest that adult males
and females differ in factors that maintain tobacco smoking, yet there is limited
information about sex differences in nicotine reward during adolescence. Limited
studies suggest that adolescent male rats self-administer more nicotine than
adults, suggesting that drug administration during adolescence leads to different
behavioral effects than during adulthood. In the present study, male rats
developed a significant conditioned place preference (CPP) to lower doses of
nicotine than females, regardless of age. In addition, adolescents were more
sensitive than adults. In female rats, adolescents exhibited a CPP of greater
magnitude than adult females. In males, the magnitude of the CPP did not differ
as a function of age, but adolescents exhibited CPP to lower doses than adults.
There also were differences in nicotinic acetylcholinergic receptor binding in
nucleus accumbens and caudate putamen in response to nicotine across age and sex.
These findings suggest that it is necessary to consider sex- and age-specific
effects of drugs such as nicotine when developing strategies for improving
smoking cessation treatments.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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