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Effect of a History of Major Depressive Disorder on Smoking-Induced Dopamine Release

  • Arthur L. Brody
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Arthur L. Brody, M.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, 300 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 2200, Los Angeles, CA 90095
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California

    Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Positron Emission Tomography Center, Los Angeles, California

    Brain Research Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, California
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  • Richard E. Olmstead
    Affiliations
    Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Positron Emission Tomography Center, Los Angeles, California
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  • Anna L. Abrams
    Affiliations
    Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Positron Emission Tomography Center, Los Angeles, California
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  • Matthew R. Costello
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California

    Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Positron Emission Tomography Center, Los Angeles, California
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  • Aliyah Khan
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California

    Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Positron Emission Tomography Center, Los Angeles, California
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  • Daniel Kozman
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California

    Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Positron Emission Tomography Center, Los Angeles, California
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  • Sanjaya Saxena
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), La Jolla, California
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  • Judah Farahi
    Affiliations
    Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Positron Emission Tomography Center, Los Angeles, California
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  • Edythe D. London
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California

    Brain Research Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

    Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA, Los Angeles, California
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  • Mark A. Mandelkern
    Affiliations
    Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Positron Emission Tomography Center, Los Angeles, California

    Department of Physics, University of California, Irvine (UCI), Irvine, California
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      Background

      Dopamine (DA) system dysfunction is implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). We sought to determine if cigarette smokers with a history of MDD and current mild depressive symptoms have abnormal smoking-induced DA release (measured indirectly as change in 11C-raclopride binding potential [BPND]).

      Methods

      Fifty-six cigarette smokers either with (n = 10) or without (n = 46) a history of MDD (MDD+ and MDD−, respectively) underwent bolus-plus-continuous-infusion 11C-raclopride positron emission tomography, during which they smoked a regular cigarette. Presmoking to postsmoking changes in 11C-raclopride BPND were compared between groups. Also, correlations were determined between change in BPND and depression, anxiety, and withdrawal rating scale scores for the MDD+ group.

      Results

      The MDD+ group had a significantly greater reduction in 11C-raclopride BPND (−16.3%) than the MDD− group (−8.4%) (analysis of covariance [ANCOVA], p = .03). Significant negative correlations were found between depression/anxiety and change in 11C-raclopride BPND (r = −.77, p < .01 and r = −.74, p = .01, respectively).

      Conclusions

      MDD+ smokers have greater smoking-induced DA release than MDD− smokers, and higher depression/anxiety levels are associated with greater smoking-induced DA release. These findings support the theory that MDD+ smokers have DA system dysfunction, including heightened smoking-induced DA release.

      Key Words

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