Summary: The dose of nicotine from a single cigarette blocks estrogen manufacturing in the mind, inflicting behavioral adjustments. Findings could shed new mild on why quitting smoking could also be harder for ladies than males.
Source: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
A dose of nicotine, equal to that discovered in a single cigarette blocks estrogen manufacturing in ladies’s brains. This could clarify a number of behavioural variations in ladies who smoke, together with why they’re extra resistant than males to quitting smoking.
This work is offered for the primary time on the ECNP Congress in Vienna.
Lead researcher, Associate Professor Erika Comasco (Uppsala University, Sweden) stated:
“For the first time, we can see that nicotine works to shuts down the estrogen production mechanism in the brain of women.
“We were surprised to see that this effect could be seen even with a single dose of nicotine, equivalent to just one cigarette, showing how powerful the effects of smoking are on a woman’s brain. This is a newly-discovered effect, and it’s still preliminary work.
“We’re still not sure what the behavioural or cognitive outcomes are; only that nicotine acts on this area of the brain, however we note that the affected brain system is a target for addictive drugs, such as nicotine”.
The impact has been proven in the thalamus, which is a part of the limbic system in the mind. This system is concerned in behavioural and emotional responses.
The researchers, from Uppsala University in Sweden, labored with a group of ten wholesome feminine volunteers.
The ladies got a commercially obtainable nicotine dose intranasally, and on the similar time have been injected with a radioactive tracer hooked up to a molecule which binds to the enzyme aromatase: aromatase, also referred to as estrogen synthase, is the enzyme liable for the manufacturing of estrogen. MRI and PET mind scans enabled the researchers to visualise each the amount of aromatase, and the place it was positioned in the mind.
The researchers discovered that a single dose reasonably decreased the quantity of aromatase in the mind.
It has been recognized for a while that men and women reply in a different way to nicotine, with ladies being extra proof against nicotine substitute remedy, and exhibiting a better tendency than males to relapse when making an attempt to give up smoking.
However, the organic foundation for these variations isn’t understood. This is the primary time that this inhibitory impact on aromatase manufacturing has been proven in people. The impact on males was not studied.
Professor Comasco continued “This discovery leads us to believe that nicotine’s effect on estrogen production has a significant impact on the brain, but perhaps also on other functions, such as the reproductive system – we don’t know that yet. There are significant differences in the way men and women react to smoking.
“Women seem to be more resistant to nicotine replacement therapy, they experience more relapses, show greater vulnerability for heritability of smoking, and are at greater risk of developing primary smoking-related illnesses, such as lung cancer and heart attacks. We need now to understand if this action of nicotine on the hormonal system is involved in any of these reactions.
Of course this is a comparatively small group of women, we need a larger sample to confirm these findings. Nevertheless, the message is that nicotine has various effects on the brain, including on the production of sex hormones such as estrogen”.
Commenting, Professor Wim van den Brink, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Addiction on the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam stated:
“This is indeed an important first finding. Smoking has many adverse effects in men and in women, but this particular effect of nicotine on the reduction of estrogen production in woman was not known before.
“It should be noted, however, that tobacco addiction is a complex disorder with many contributing factors. It’s unlikely that this specific effect of nicotine on the thalamus (and the production of estrogen) explains all the observed differences in the development, treatment and outcomes between male and female smokers.
“It is still a long way from a nicotine induced reduction in estrogen production to a reduced risk of nicotine addiction and negative effects of treatment and relapse in female cigarette smokers, but this work merits further investigation”.
About this nicotine analysis information
Original Research: The findings have been offered on the thirty fifth Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)