Female psychopharmacology matters! Towards a sex-specific psychopharmacology

Blanca Bolea-Alamanac, Sarah J. Bailey, Thelma A. Lovick, Dirk Scheele, Rita Valentino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is increasing recognition that women have a higher prevalence of certain psychiatric illnesses, and a differential treatment response and course of illness compared to men. Additionally, clinicians deal with a number of disorders like premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and postpartum depression, which affect women specifically and for which treatment and biological pathways are still unclear. In this article we highlight recent research which suggests that different biological mechanisms may underlie sex differences in responsiveness to stress. Sex differences are evident at the receptor level; where the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor shows differential coupling to adaptor proteins in males and females. The neuropeptide oxytocin also shows sex-specific effects in a range of social behaviors. It may act as a biomarker in post-traumatic stress disorder where sex differences are evident. Studies in women using hormonal contraception show that some of these oxytocin-mediated effects are likely influenced by sex hormones. In female rats rapid changes in circulating progesterone levels are associated with exaggerated behavioral responses to mild stress and blunted responses to benzodiazepines that could be prevented by acute treatment with low-dose fluoxetine. Perceived barriers in research on women have hindered progress. The development of a sex-specific psychopharmacology as a basis for translating this type of research into clinical practice is vital to improve treatment outcomes for women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
EventBAP Summer Meeting 2016 -
Duration: 17 Jul 201621 Dec 2016

Fingerprint

Psychopharmacology
Sex Characteristics
Oxytocin
Research
Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptors
Premenstrual Syndrome
Postpartum Depression
Sexual Development
Social Behavior
Fluoxetine
Gonadal Steroid Hormones
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Neuropeptides
Benzodiazepines
Contraception
Progesterone
Psychiatry
Therapeutics
Biomarkers
Proteins

Keywords

  • Sex differences
  • allopregnanolone
  • estrogen
  • gender
  • neurosteroids
  • oxytocin
  • progesterone
  • sex hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Female psychopharmacology matters! Towards a sex-specific psychopharmacology. / Bolea-Alamanac, Blanca; Bailey, Sarah J.; Lovick, Thelma A.; Scheele, Dirk; Valentino, Rita.

In: Journal of Psychopharmacology , Vol. 32, No. 2, 01.02.2018, p. 125-133.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bolea-Alamanac, Blanca ; Bailey, Sarah J. ; Lovick, Thelma A. ; Scheele, Dirk ; Valentino, Rita. / Female psychopharmacology matters! Towards a sex-specific psychopharmacology. In: Journal of Psychopharmacology . 2018 ; Vol. 32, No. 2. pp. 125-133.
@article{268be306012b4f81a7007a7a60d65b90,
title = "Female psychopharmacology matters! Towards a sex-specific psychopharmacology",
abstract = "There is increasing recognition that women have a higher prevalence of certain psychiatric illnesses, and a differential treatment response and course of illness compared to men. Additionally, clinicians deal with a number of disorders like premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and postpartum depression, which affect women specifically and for which treatment and biological pathways are still unclear. In this article we highlight recent research which suggests that different biological mechanisms may underlie sex differences in responsiveness to stress. Sex differences are evident at the receptor level; where the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor shows differential coupling to adaptor proteins in males and females. The neuropeptide oxytocin also shows sex-specific effects in a range of social behaviors. It may act as a biomarker in post-traumatic stress disorder where sex differences are evident. Studies in women using hormonal contraception show that some of these oxytocin-mediated effects are likely influenced by sex hormones. In female rats rapid changes in circulating progesterone levels are associated with exaggerated behavioral responses to mild stress and blunted responses to benzodiazepines that could be prevented by acute treatment with low-dose fluoxetine. Perceived barriers in research on women have hindered progress. The development of a sex-specific psychopharmacology as a basis for translating this type of research into clinical practice is vital to improve treatment outcomes for women.",
keywords = "Sex differences, allopregnanolone, estrogen, gender, neurosteroids, oxytocin, progesterone, sex hormones",
author = "Blanca Bolea-Alamanac and Bailey, {Sarah J.} and Lovick, {Thelma A.} and Dirk Scheele and Rita Valentino",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0269881117747578",
language = "English",
volume = "32",
pages = "125--133",
journal = "Journal of Psychopharmacology",
issn = "0269-8811",
publisher = "Sage Publications",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Female psychopharmacology matters! Towards a sex-specific psychopharmacology

AU - Bolea-Alamanac, Blanca

AU - Bailey, Sarah J.

AU - Lovick, Thelma A.

AU - Scheele, Dirk

AU - Valentino, Rita

PY - 2018/2/1

Y1 - 2018/2/1

N2 - There is increasing recognition that women have a higher prevalence of certain psychiatric illnesses, and a differential treatment response and course of illness compared to men. Additionally, clinicians deal with a number of disorders like premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and postpartum depression, which affect women specifically and for which treatment and biological pathways are still unclear. In this article we highlight recent research which suggests that different biological mechanisms may underlie sex differences in responsiveness to stress. Sex differences are evident at the receptor level; where the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor shows differential coupling to adaptor proteins in males and females. The neuropeptide oxytocin also shows sex-specific effects in a range of social behaviors. It may act as a biomarker in post-traumatic stress disorder where sex differences are evident. Studies in women using hormonal contraception show that some of these oxytocin-mediated effects are likely influenced by sex hormones. In female rats rapid changes in circulating progesterone levels are associated with exaggerated behavioral responses to mild stress and blunted responses to benzodiazepines that could be prevented by acute treatment with low-dose fluoxetine. Perceived barriers in research on women have hindered progress. The development of a sex-specific psychopharmacology as a basis for translating this type of research into clinical practice is vital to improve treatment outcomes for women.

AB - There is increasing recognition that women have a higher prevalence of certain psychiatric illnesses, and a differential treatment response and course of illness compared to men. Additionally, clinicians deal with a number of disorders like premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and postpartum depression, which affect women specifically and for which treatment and biological pathways are still unclear. In this article we highlight recent research which suggests that different biological mechanisms may underlie sex differences in responsiveness to stress. Sex differences are evident at the receptor level; where the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor shows differential coupling to adaptor proteins in males and females. The neuropeptide oxytocin also shows sex-specific effects in a range of social behaviors. It may act as a biomarker in post-traumatic stress disorder where sex differences are evident. Studies in women using hormonal contraception show that some of these oxytocin-mediated effects are likely influenced by sex hormones. In female rats rapid changes in circulating progesterone levels are associated with exaggerated behavioral responses to mild stress and blunted responses to benzodiazepines that could be prevented by acute treatment with low-dose fluoxetine. Perceived barriers in research on women have hindered progress. The development of a sex-specific psychopharmacology as a basis for translating this type of research into clinical practice is vital to improve treatment outcomes for women.

KW - Sex differences

KW - allopregnanolone

KW - estrogen

KW - gender

KW - neurosteroids

KW - oxytocin

KW - progesterone

KW - sex hormones

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85042283030&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0269881117747578

DO - 10.1177/0269881117747578

M3 - Article

VL - 32

SP - 125

EP - 133

JO - Journal of Psychopharmacology

JF - Journal of Psychopharmacology

SN - 0269-8811

IS - 2

ER -