Navigation Links
Tolerance to inhalants may be caused by changes in gene expression
Date:10/17/2007

AUSTIN, Texas--Changes in the expression of genes may be the reason why people who abuse inhalants, such as spray paint or glue, quickly develop a tolerance, biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered.

The team, led by graduate student Yan Wang, used the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to determine how the nervous system becomes tolerant to sedation with organic solvent inhalants.

The team's work appears in the October 16 issue of Public Library of Science-Biology.

"Drug tolerance causes the user to consume more of the drug, speeding them down the path of addiction," said Nigel Atkinson, an associate professor of neurobiology who supervised the research.

This is the first study to show that a single drug experience alters the response of an animal to future doses by epigenetically modifying a single gene.

The research lays the groundwork for understanding mechanisms of inhalant addiction in humans, and it is hoped, developing methods of treatment and recovery. Because the effects of organic solvent inhalants and alcohol on animals are similar, this work may also be relevant to understanding the response of the brain to alcohol.

When fruit flies are sedated with an organic solvent, the expression of the slo K+ channel gene increases. Increased expression of the gene enables the fruit flies to recover faster from sedation. This gene is very similar to the human slo gene.

Wang and colleagues sedated fruit flies with the organic solvent benzyl alcohol, then documented changes in chromosomal structures called histones. Histones are positively charged protein structures that bind to negatively charged DNA. They organize and control access to the DNA.

Benzyl alcohol sedation made the charge of the histone more negative, "relaxing the grip" of the DNA to the histones in a part of the slo gene that controls its expression.

When the chromatin is in a relaxed state, gene transcription occurs more frequently.

The researchers predict that increased expression of the slo channels, through epigenetic modifications to the histones, helped neurons recover from sedation and resist the effects of the drug, increasing tolerance.

"While the fruit fly seems very different from us, the cells of its nervous system are remarkably similar to ours and can be used to understand how drugs change our brains," Atkinson said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nigel Atkinson
nigela@mail.utexas.edu
512-232-3404
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mouse with designer liver has enhanced glucose tolerance, insulin response
2. Lactose intolerance linked to ancestral environment
3. UNC launches study of liver injury caused by drugs
4. Oxygen increase caused mammals to triumph, researchers say
5. Blocking the nerve receptor EP1 in mouse models reduces brain damage caused by stroke
6. Stem cell mobilization therapy appears to be ineffective in repairing damage caused by heart attack
7. Whiplash injuries ?are they caused by startle reflexes?
8. Man may have caused pre-historic extinctions
9. Cocaine high caused by interference in neuronal receiving stations
10. Scientists discover new virus caused deaths of transplant recipients from single donor
11. New study may show how to forestall a fatal, virus-caused immune-system meltdown
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/22/2016)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that the company has been ... Awards as "Most Outstanding in eClinical Solutions" for ... recognition and growth for MedNet, which has effectively supported ... iMedNet ™ , MedNet,s flagship eClinical technology ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership types; ... Academics) market is to witness a value of US$37.1 billion ... Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen from ... 2014-2020. North America is not way ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), ... the gut microbiome, today announced the pricing of ... its common stock and warrants to purchase 50,000,000 ... to the public of $1.00 per share and ... the offering, excluding the proceeds, if any from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... value of DNA microarray comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) for HER2 genomic ... Symposium. Using molecular test results from tumors with previously documented positive, negative, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... PhUSE will build ... popularity of US Single Day Events (SDE) to organize a multiple-day US conference. ... Raleigh, NC. Topics of the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry will cover industry ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... DrugDev believes the only ... a beautiful technology experience. All three tenets were on display at the 2nd Annual ... from over 40 sponsor, CRO and site organizations to discuss innovation and the future ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, ... in supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: