Navigation Links
Collaborative preclinical efficacy studies suggest a new target for drug addiction treatment

In preclinical studies, researchers at SRI International and Astraea Therapeutics have recently evaluated the role of a new drug receptor target that shows promise for the treatment of drug addiction.

This potential new drug target belongs to a class of receptors called the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). One subtype of nAChRs, called alpha4beta2 is a well-known target for nicotine's addictive effects and the therapeutic effect of the smoking cessation drug varenicline. SRI researchers are now studying another, lesser-known subtype, called alpha3beta4 nAChR, which has recently shown to play a role in the addictive properties of cocaine, morphine, and nicotine.

Using AT-1001, a highly selective alpha3beta4 compound developed by Astraea Therapeutics, SRI researchers found that addiction processes could be disrupted. In preliminary studies, AT-1001 also reduced nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety.

Because addictive drugs act on the brain's "reward circuit," many people compulsively take them despite their harmful consequences. Feelings of pleasure are caused by the release of brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, and their increased activity in the brain reward circuit. The key neurotransmitter in the reward circuit is dopamine, which produces changes in addictive behavior. Researchers speculate that disruption of the alpha3beta4 nAChR system using highly selective drugs such as AT-1001 may interrupt this reward circuitry.

"Currently, there are no therapeutics approved to treat addiction to stimulants such as cocaine, so it is intriguing to find a promising drug receptor target and to see that AT-1001 can indeed affect phenomena that are thought to be deeply tied to the addictive nature of cocaine and other drugs of abuse," said Taline Khroyan, Ph.D., Senior Behavioral Pharmacologist in SRI's Center for Health Sciences.

Findings from these collaborative studies were recently presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in a study titled "AT-1001, a Highly Selective alpha3beta4 nicotinic Receptor Antagonist is Effective in Blocking Place Preference, Behavioral Sensitization, and Withdrawal Effects of Various Drugs of Abuse." The presentation was highlighted by the Society for describing the innovative approach taken by the research team.


Contact: Dina Basin
SRI International

Related biology news :

1. New mouse collaborative cross resource promises new cures and treatments for diseases
2. Collaborative Health Consortium Announces eCollaboration Forum Final Agenda for HIMSS 2012
3. Collaborative effort uncovers DNA duplications that may be responsible for genomic-based diseases
4. DFG to fund 8 new collaborative research centers
5. BGI announces collaborative research agreements with Oregon State University
6. UCSB awarded $15 million by Dow to establish collaborative institute for materials research and education
7. Louisiana State University leads collaborative effort to identify genes supporting life in extreme conditions
8. Danforth Center Collaborative Research Program receives funding to improve crop yield in Africa
9. UNC-Duke ties lead to collaborative finding about cell division & metabolism
10. The first studies utilizing the Collaborative Cross mice are published in Genome Research
11. Mouse virus erroneously linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, UCSF collaborative study finds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 ... Manned Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other ... provider visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the ... this market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in ... acquired DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 , ... published the overview results from the Q1 wave of ... recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where ... with a health insurance company. "We were ... share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ky. , June 23, 2016 ... two Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement ... placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies designed ... pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult ... subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose (ranging ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, ... 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to ... down 0.17%. has initiated coverage on the following equities: ... (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC ... in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016 Cell Applications, Inc. ... them to produce up to one billion human ... within one week. These high-quality, consistent stem cells ... cells and spend more time doing meaningful, relevant ... proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, reliable ...
Breaking Biology Technology: