Navigation Links
Chronic cocaine use triggers changes in brain's neuron structure
Date:5/9/2012

Buffalo, N.Y. Chronic exposure to cocaine reduces the expression of a protein known to regulate brain plasticity, according to new, in vivo research on the molecular basis of cocaine addiction. That reduction drives structural changes in the brain, which produce greater sensitivity to the rewarding effects of cocaine.

The finding suggests a potential new target for development of a treatment for cocaine addiction. It was published last month in Nature Neuroscience by researchers at the University at Buffalo and Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

"We found that chronic cocaine exposure in mice led to a decrease in this protein's signaling," says David Dietz, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who did the work while at Mt. Sinai. "The reduction of the expression of the protein, called Rac1, then set in motion a cascade of events involved in structural plasticity of the brain -- the shape and growth of neuronal processes in the brain. Among the most important of these events is the large increase in the number of physical protrusions or spines that grow out from the neurons in the reward center of the brain.

"This suggests that Rac1 may control how exposure to drugs of abuse, like cocaine, may rewire the brain in a way that makes an individual more susceptible to the addicted state," says Dietz. A photo of Dietz is at http://www.buffalo.edu/news/13420.

The presence of the spines demonstrates the spike in the reward effect that the individual obtains from exposure to cocaine. By changing the level of expression of Rac1, Dietz and his colleagues were able to control whether or not the mice became addicted, by preventing enhancement of the brain's reward center due to cocaine exposure.

To do the experiment, Dietz and his colleagues used a novel tool, which allowed for light activation to control Rac1 expression, the first time that a light-activated protein has been used to modulate brain plasticity.

"We can now understand how proteins function in a very temporal pattern, so we could look at how regulating genes at a specific time point could affect behavior, such as drug addiction, or a disease state," says Dietz.

In his UB lab, Dietz is continuing his research on the relationship between behavior and brain plasticity, looking, for example, at how plasticity might determine how much of a drug an animal takes and how persistent the animal is in trying to get the drug.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen Goldbaum
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
716-645-4605
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Adjusting Your Attitude About Chronic Pain May Help You Sleep
2. Chronicling pink slimes fall from grace
3. Study suggests new way to treat chronic pain
4. Alternative Medicine May Help Ease Chronic Sinusitis
5. Study determines critical skills for PCPs to safely manage opioid risk in chronic pain patients
6. Where pain lives: Managing chronic pain tougher in poor neighborhoods
7. Web-Based Therapy May Help Teens With Chronic Fatigue
8. Smog Tied to Raised Risk of Chronic Illness in Black Women
9. Chronic Heartburn a Growing Problem in U.S.
10. Journal Retracts Faulty Chronic Fatigue Study
11. Chronic School Absenteeism Linked to Mental Health Problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Chronic cocaine use triggers changes in brain's neuron structure
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... In honor of National Physical Fitness ... to people who share their fitness journey on social media. , The foot ... will award a $100 product voucher each week during May to one winner. , ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... East Los Angeles dentist , ... can visit Dr. Assili to receive any dental extraction treatment for $40 off the ... June 30, 2016. With the lower price, patients can more easily afford extractions to ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Rassouli, ... dental health and cognitive decline. According to the research, which was published in the ... degree of cognitive decline, and about 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The study ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... Pregnancy Awareness Month offers a great time to get familiar with the latest ... to have a baby, it’s best to get started before age becomes an issue,” ... & Pregnancy Organizer, written for women who plan on becoming pregnant to learn about ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh of Carolina Facial ... listed as number five on the list of “ 5 US Cities with the Highest ... Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami. The results were calculated using a survey by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... Dr. Vivek Ahuja , ... Ste phen Schmidt ... of cloud-based software solutions for life sciences, today announced key new ... wealth of insight to a growing business.  This will bolster the ... George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in the position of Vice President ...
(Date:4/28/2016)...   Acsis , a leading provider of supply ... research and advisory firm IDC has named it a ... Pharmaceutical Track and Trace Software 2016 Vendor Assessment (doc ... of the capabilities and business strategies of 10 vendors ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160427/360791LOGO ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 TapImmune,Inc. (TPIV), ... peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment of ... at the 3rd Annual Growth Capital Expo to ... 2016 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The ... May 4 th by Dr. John N. Bonfiglio ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: