Effects of smoking on D2/D3 striatal receptor availability in alcoholics and social drinkers

Daniel S. Albrecht, David A. Kareken, Karmen K. Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Studies have reported lower striatal D2/D3 receptor availability in both alcoholics and cigarette smokers relative to healthy controls. These substances are commonly co-abused, yet the relationship between comorbid alcohol/tobacco abuse and striatal D2/D3 receptor availability has not been examined. We sought to determine the degree to which dual abuse of alcohol and tobacco is associated with lower D2/D3 receptor availability. Eighty-one subjects (34 nontreatment-seeking alcoholic smokers [NTS-S], 21 social-drinking smokers [SD-S], and 26 social-drinking non-smokers [SD-NS]) received baseline [11C]raclopride scans. D2/D3 binding potential (BPND ≡ Bavail/KD) was estimated for ten anatomically defined striatal regions of interest (ROIs). Significant group effects were detected in bilateral pre-commissural dorsal putamen, bilateral pre-commissural dorsal caudate; and bilateral post-commissural dorsal putamen. Post-hoc testing revealed that, regardless of drinking status, smokers had lower D2/D3 receptor availability than non-smoking controls. Chronic tobacco smokers have lower striatal D2/D3 receptor availability than non-smokers, independent of alcohol use. Additional studies are needed to identify the mechanisms by which chronic tobacco smoking is associated with striatal dopamine receptor availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-334
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Cigarette smoking
  • D receptor
  • Dopamine
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Raclopride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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