Navigation Links
New research identifies gene important for nicotine's effects on the brain

New research identifies an important gene that influences several aspects of nicotine-induced behaviors in the brain. The study, funded by National Institutes of Drug Abuse, was presented today at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology's Annual Meeting.

Investigator Marina Picciotto, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and her colleagues at Yale University, found that nicotine can increase activity of a molecule called CREB in a brain area called the nucleus accumbens. CREB is able to change the properties of nerve cells, which is important for the rewarding properties of nicotine. Their new study shows that using a genetically altered virus that blocks CREB activity in the nucleus accumbens blocks nicotine reward. "We and other researchers have begun to make very strong links between individual molecules in the brain and nicotine-related behaviors," said Picciotto. "By identifying molecules and changing their activity we can understand how overall behavior is changed. "

Picciotto's work explored how the brain changes when it receives nicotine and, therefore, focused on the dopamine system in the brain. Dopamine is one of a number of neurotransmitters that plays an important role in motivation and reward processes. Nicotine activates the dopamine system in the brain as do other drugs of abuse including cocaine and amphetamines.

"Our work and that of others has shown that nicotine changes signaling in nerve cells in the dopamine system resulting in long-lasting effects," said Picciotto. "We believe that these changes in signaling may explain why people who quit smoking can continue to experience cravings many years later or even start smoking again."

Picciotto hopes her findings lead to the development of new targets for smoking cessation therapies. However, it will not be easy to target the signaling molecules manipulated in this study in human smokers. "They are not just in nerve cells involved in addictive behavior; these signaling molecules are important throughout the brain and body", says Picciotto. "The more we understand how nicotine changes the function of nerve cells, the better we will be able to neutralize its effects on behavior".

Picciotto suggests that future research focus on signaling pathways inside nerve cells and understanding which pathways are really important for nicotine addiction as opposed to other types of abuse.

Picciotto's research used both genetically engineered mice with altered nicotine receptors and viruses that could block CREB function. She and her colleagues showed that one type of nicotine receptor was important for both CREB activity and nicotine reward and that blocking CREB in the nucleus accumbens was sufficient to block nicotine reward.


'"/>

Source:GYMR


Related biology news :

1. Columbia research lifts major hurdle to gene therapy for cancer
2. U of M researcher examines newly emerging deadly disease
3. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
4. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
5. New research questions basic tenet of neuron function
6. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
7. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
8. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
9. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
10. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
11. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: ... been advised by its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund ... United States based venture capital funds ... of Biorem (on a fully diluted, as converted basis), ... disposition of their entire equity holdings in Biorem to ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's ... of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... on a range of subjects including policies, debt and investment ... Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian Economics ... the country,s inflation target, which is set by both the ... "In certain areas there needs to be frequent ... not sit down and address strategy together?" He ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader ... “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, ... providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: