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Sex Differences in Drug Addiction and Response to Exercise Intervention: From Human to Animal Studies


Sex Differences in Drug Addiction and Response to Exercise Intervention: From Human to Animal Studies

Yuehui Zhou et al. Front Neuroendocrinol.


Accumulated research supports the idea that exercise could be an option of potential prevention and treatment for drug addiction. During the past few years, there has been increased interest in investigating of sex differences in exercise and drug addiction. This demonstrates that sex-specific exercise intervention strategies may be important for preventing and treating drug addiction in men and women. However, little is known about how and why sex differences are found when doing exercise-induced interventions for drug addiction. In this review, we included both animal and human that pulled subjects from a varied age demographic, as well as neurobiological mechanisms that may highlight the sex-related differences in these potential to assess the impact of sex-specific roles in drug addiction and exercise therapies.

Keywords: Animal and human studies; Drug addiction; Exercise; Neurobiological mechanisms; Sex differences.


Figure 1
Figure 1. The neurobiology of sex difference in drug addiction and exercise intervention
Drug addiction induces impairment of synaptic organization and neurogenesis, while exercise promotes synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. In most of reports, males showed greater effect than females. Drug addiction is also altering several transcriptional factors and up-regulating neurotransmitters in specific brain regions, and exercise shared the similar signaling pathways to modulate and normalize the drug addiction related neuropathology. While there are no clear sex difference in exercise-induced regulation of synaptic plasticity and brain neurotransmitters, the sex differences in drug addiction- or exercise-induced alternation of transcriptional factors are brain regional dependent indicated as DA=dopamine; DAT=dopamine transporter; DAR=dopamine receptor; Glu=glutamate; NMDA=glutamate receptor; eCBs=endocannabinoids; CB1= cannabinoid receptor 1; eOP=endogenous opioid; OPR=opioid receptor; GABA=gamma-amino acid.

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