Navigation Links
GUMC to develop smoking cessation aids based on unconventional nicotine addiction theory
Date:4/21/2010

Washington, DC A Georgetown University Medical Center research team has been awarded a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to discover and develop new smoking cessation drugs based on an unconventional theory about nicotine addiction. Kenneth Kellar, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at GUMC is principal investigator of the five year grant totaling $4.6 million.

The theory, developed in Kellar's lab over the last 20 years, stems from observations that continual administration of nicotine in laboratory animals leads to an increase in the number of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain. A similar increase in these receptors is seen in the brains of human smokers.

A second important effect of nicotine that has been known for more than 100 years is that it rapidly desensitizes these nicotinic receptors after exposure. Kellar's theory combines both theories: nicotine addiction results from smokers trying to maintain the increased number of brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in a desensitized state to avoid over-activity of the increased receptors and the brain circuits they serve.

According to this theory, if a person doesn't smoke for one, two, or three hours, the receptors become active (again), and because smokers have more of these receptors in their brains, this excess activity results in feelings of anxiety. "An addicted smoker has learned that the easiest way to relieve this anxiety is to smoke another cigarette, which then turns off these receptors by desensitizing them. And that starts the cycle again," says Kellar.

"All drug addictions take a toll on life, but nicotine makes the largest impact on health and life expectancy", says Kellar. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, lifelong smokers on average lose more than a decade of life.

The goal of the work supported by this research grant is to discover selective nicotinic receptor desensitizers that can be developed into new treatments for nicotine addiction with higher efficacy than currently available treatments.

Kellar's lab has a long history of research into nicotine addiction. In the 1990's, Kellar and his colleagues produced autoradiographic images showing the increased nicotinic receptors in the brains of long-time smokers. The images helped the FDA to seek regulation of the nicotine in cigarettes.

Yingxian Xiao, PhD, an associate professor of pharmacology at GUMC, is a project leader on this grant. His studies with the novel compound sazetidine-A, developed in the Kellar lab in 2005, led to the proposal to develop selective receptor desensitizers for smoking cessation. Other project leaders include Milton Brown, MD, PhD, director of the GUMC Drug Discovery Program, and Edward Levin, PhD of Duke University.

Kellar, Xiao and Brown are three of the inventors on patent applications held by Georgetown University that are related to the technology involved in the research supported by this grant.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
215-514-9751
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify new gene involved in the development of liver cancer
2. Chinese scientists discover marker indicating the developmental potential of stem cells
3. EPA hosts decontamination research and development conference
4. ARS scientists develop self-pollinating almond trees
5. TGen Drug Development accompanies GPEC to BayBio2010
6. New tool developed for DNA research
7. Doubled haploid technology for quickly developing inbred corn lines offered at ISU
8. Study reveals that logging debris suppresses development of an invasive competitor, Scotch broom
9. Researchers develop new method to detect melamine in milk
10. Workshop on R&D for rapid vaccine development and production in Asia/Australia
11. Developing blanket protection from wildfires
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the ... the first application of deep learning to create predictive ... lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. The ... and future publicly available resources created and shared by ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data ... precision engineering platform, detected a statistically significant ... product prior to treatment and objective response ... the potential to predict whether cancer patients ... to treatment, as well as to improve ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... G. Fujimoto, Ph.D ., the Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer ... Research Award winner. Presented annually, the award recognizes an individual who has ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... , ... VIC Technology Venture Development™ (VIC™), is pleased to announce ... addition continues to strengthen and diversify VIC’s board. , "We are excited to have ... highly accomplished business executive with a broad range of experience directly relevant to VIC ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... solution to make clinical trial sites and study participants truly unified. TrialKit, a ... compliant (FDA 21 CFR Part 11) research studies entirely on mobile devices. With ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... , ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its Patent Applications 14/858,857 and ... Office’s allowances of these patent applications further expand the protection of G-CON’s R&D ...
Breaking Biology Technology: