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:2/6/2017)... 6, 2017 According to Acuity Market ... border authorities to continue to embrace biometric and ... 2143 Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates and 1436 ... more than 163 ports of entry across the ... achieving a combined CAGR of 37%. APC Kiosks ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market leader ... white paper " What You Should Know About Biometrics ... ensuring user authenticity is a growing concern. In traditional ... users. However, traditional authentication schemes such as username/password suffer ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant solution to the problem ...
(Date:1/30/2017)... 2017   Invitae Corporation (NYSE: ... companies, today announced that it will report its fourth ... guidance on Monday, February 13, 2017, and Invitae,s management ... 4:45 p.m. Eastern / 1:45 p.m. Pacific. ... review financial results, guidance, and recent developments and will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem ... its unaudited financial results for the third quarter and ... 31, 2016. Third Quarter of Fiscal 2017 ... of fiscal 2017 increased by 18.6% to RMB200.9 million ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... and NEW YORK , ... Lumeon , a leading digital health company, ... a provider of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, ... for telemedicine reimbursements.  DN Telehealth ... patients, in real-time, extending consultations beyond a physical ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  In Atlanta, it seems ... fashion, and culture intertwine to create an expressive and dynamic ... reflect this energy and contribute to it. ... Hair Fairies seeks to carry on that tradition ... Atlanta salon is the newest of ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... David Nolte, PhD accepted Purdue University’s 2016 ... Research Park of West Lafayette, Indiana. , The top commercialization award is ... success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue research. “This award is truly an honor. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: