Nicotine Blocks Brain Estrogen Synthase (Aromatase): In Vivo Positron Emission Tomography Studies in Female Baboons

Anat Biegon, Sung Won Kim, Jean Logan, Jacob M. Hooker, Lisa Muench, Joanna S. Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Cigarette smoking and nicotine have complex effects on human physiology and behavior, including some effects similar to those elicited by inhibition of aromatase, the last enzyme in estrogen biosynthesis. We report the first in vivo primate study to determine whether there is a direct effect of nicotine administration on brain aromatase. Methods: Brain aromatase availability was examined with positron emission tomography and the selective aromatase inhibitor [11C]vorozole in six baboons before and after exposure to IV nicotine at .015 and .03 mg/kg. Results: Nicotine administration produced significant, dose-dependent reductions in [11C]vorozole binding. The amygdala and preoptic area showed the largest reductions. Plasma levels of nicotine and its major metabolite cotinine were similar to those found in cigarette smokers. Conclusions: Nicotine interacts in vivo with primate brain aromatase in regions involved in mood, aggression, and sexual behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-777
Number of pages4
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume67
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • CYP19
  • extragonadal estrogen
  • imaging
  • smoking
  • vorozole

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Nicotine Blocks Brain Estrogen Synthase (Aromatase): In Vivo Positron Emission Tomography Studies in Female Baboons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this