Decreased dopamine transporter availability in male smokers - A dual isotope SPECT study

Yen Kuang Yang, Wei Jen Yao, Tzung Lieh Yeh, I. Hui Lee, Po See Chen, Ru Band Lu, Nan Tsing Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Although the mesolimbic dopaminergic system has been shown to play a role in reinforcing tobacco smoking, results of imaging studies that examine the relationship between tobacco smoking and the central dopamine system remain discrepant. To delineate the role of tobacco addiction in central pre- and post-synaptic dopaminergic activities, we analyzed the central D2-family receptors, the dopamine transporters (DAT), and degrees of dependence in male smokers. Methods: Eleven male smokers and 11 healthy non-smokers were recruited. The striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability was approximated using SPECT and [123I] IBZM while the DAT availability was approximated using SPECT and [99mTc] TRODAT-1. All of the smokers completed the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) and other related questionnaires. Results: A decrease in DAT availability in the striatum of male smokers is noted (p < 05). However, the striatal D2/D3 receptor availability in male smokers does not differ from that of non-smokers. Conclusions: These findings suggest that cigarette smoking may alter central dopamine functions in males, particularly at the pre-synaptic sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-279
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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