Navigation Links
Team discovers possible 'universal strategy' to combat addiction

An international research team led by the University of Saskatchewan has discovered a signaling pathway in the brain involved in drug addiction, together with a method for blocking its action, that may point to a single treatment strategy for most addictions.

Their findings appear in the March issue of the prestigious journal Nature Medicine.

The team, led by Xia Zhang, associate professor in the U of S department of psychiatry, found that a naturally occurring enzyme known as PTEN acts on the part of the brain where many drugs of abuse exert their rewarding effects - the ventral tegmental area (VTA).

"Our results suggest a potential universal strategy for treating drug addiction," Zhang says. "Most drugs of abuse act on the neurons in this area."

He cautions that much work remains to be done before a treatment based on the discovery could be developed to help drug addicts. This includes several years of further testing, including animal and, finally, human trials.

"We have our peptide, but there's a long way to go before a clinical application," he says.

"Dr. Zhang's research is important to our understanding of drug addiction. His work epitomizes how health research holds the key to improved health and quality of life for Canadians and people throughout the world," said Dr. Rémi Quirion, Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction.

Zhang, who worked with colleagues at the U of S, University of Toronto, and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee on the project, explains that VTA brain cells are sensitive to serotonin, a hormone associated with learning, sleep and mood. The team discovered that PTEN acts on these serotonin receptors, increasing brain cell activity. This is the same "reward" process sparked by drugs of abuse.

Armed with this knowledge, the team designed a molecule called a peptide, tailored to fit the serotonin rece ptors and block PTEN. When rats were treated with this PTEN-blocker, it shut down the drug reward process ?including the process that induces craving and withdrawal.

The study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, looked at nicotine and THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). However, Zhang says the results could also hold true for other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and even methamphetamine.

Zhang's U of S research team is part of the Neural Systems and Plasticity Research Group, one of several interdisciplinary health sciences research groups at the University.

The group, dedicated to the study of brain systems and how they change with experience, draws expertise from numerous departments across six colleges on campus.


'"/>

Source:mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca


Related biology news :

1. UCSD team discovers specialized, rare heart stem cells in newborns
2. University of Nevada, Reno research team discovers hormone that causes malaria mosquito to urinate
3. MIT chemist discovers secret behind natures medicines
4. Mayo Clinic collaboration discovers protein amplifies DNA injury signals
5. Expedition discovers marine treasures
6. Nobelist discovers antidepressant protein in mouse brain
7. Joslin discovers signs of residual islet cell function in people with long-term type 1 diabetes
8. Contrary to common wisdom, scientist discovers some mammals can smell objects under water
9. U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization team discovers key step in flu virus replication
10. LSU professor discovers new species
11. Mayo discovers protein as potential tactic to prevent tumors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market ... CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. ... for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented ... The stem cell market of the product is segmented ...
(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:3/30/2017)... The research team of The Hong Kong ... identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching ... and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security ... ... A research team led by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... , ... May 23, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics ... splash at this year’s Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in Boston May ... Lake® 4.0 solution. The Anzo Smart Data Lake is also a finalist for ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Baltimore biotech firm, PathSensors, announced ... community in developing and issuing recommendations to grow Maryland's biohealth industry and position ... 2023. , The recommendations are contained in a report from ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... CNSDose is a genetically driven, clinically ... by finding the right antidepressant faster. CNSDose speeds recovery and reduces side ... personalized approach to treatment. , A peer-reviewed and published, 12-week double-blind ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 18, 2017 , ... Dr. ... 2017 at the Prince Of Wales Private Hospital. The procedure was performed on ... The patient failed conservative treatments prior to undergoing surgery. , The AxioMed viscoelastic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: