Navigation Links
Gene therapy reduces cocaine use in rats
Date:4/16/2008

UPTON, NY - Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown that increasing the brain level of receptors for dopamine, a pleasure-related chemical, can reduce use of cocaine by 75 percent in rats trained to self-administer it. Earlier research by this team had similar findings for alcohol intake. Treatments that increase levels of these chemicals - dopamine D2 receptors -- may prove useful in treating addiction, according to the authors. The study will be published online April 16 and will appear in the July 2008 issue of Synapse.

"By increasing dopamine D2 receptor levels, we saw a dramatic drop in these rats' interest in cocaine," said lead author Panayotis (Peter) Thanos, a neuroscientist with Brookhaven Lab and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Laboratory of Neuroimaging. "This provides new evidence that low levels of dopamine D2 receptors may play an important role in not just alcoholism but in cocaine abuse as well. It also shows a potential direction for addiction therapies."

The D2 receptor receives signals in the brain triggered by dopamine, a neurotransmitter needed to experience feelings of pleasure and reward. Without receptors for dopamine, these signals get "jammed" and the pleasure response is blunted. Previous studies at Brookhaven Lab have shown that chronic abuse of alcohol and other addictive drugs increases the brain's production of dopamine. Over time, however, these drugs deplete the brain's D2 receptors and rewire the brain so that normal pleasurable activities that stimulate these pathways no longer do - leaving the addictive drug as the only way to achieve this stimulation.

The current study suggests that cocaine-dependent individuals may have their need for cocaine decreased if their D2 levels are boosted. Thanos' lab previously demonstrated dramatic reductions in alcohol use in alcohol-preferring rats infused with dopamine D2 receptors (see: http://www.bnl.gov/discover/Winter_06/alcohol_1.asp). Thanos hypothesized that the same would hold true with other addictive drugs.

The researchers tested this hypothesis by injecting a virus that had been rendered harmless and altered to carry the D2 receptor gene directly into the brains of experimental rats that were trained to self-administer cocaine -- the same technique used in the earlier alcohol study. The virus acted as a mechanism to deliver the gene to the nucleus accumbens, the brain's pleasure center, enabling the cells in this brain region to make receptor proteins themselves.

The scientists examined how the injected genes affected the rats' cocaine-using behavior after they had been taking cocaine for two weeks. After receiving the D2 receptor treatment, the rats showed a 75 percent decrease in self-administration of the drug. This effect lasted six days before their cocaine self-administration returned to previous levels.

"This adds another piece to the puzzle of the complex role of dopamine D2 receptors in addiction," said Thanos.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Immunotherapy: enlisting the immune system to fight cancer
2. In blood vessel stents, innovative materials allow better control, delivery of gene therapy
3. Biomarker May Predict Response to Cancer Therapy
4. Penn researchers find targeted therapy combination overcomes treatment resistance in liver cancer
5. Rejuvasun(TM) With Omnilux(TM): Industry First to Feature FDA-Cleared, Clinically Proven Light Therapy Technology
6. Estrogen therapy increases benign breast disease risk
7. High-intensity chemotherapy does not improve survival in small cell lung cancer
8. Double binding sites on tumor target may provide future combination therapy
9. How Patients Can Meet the Criteria for Insulin Pump Therapy
10. New Legislation Would Expedite Medicare Patient Access to Physical Therapy
11. Stem cell research leads to potential new therapy for rare blood disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... An inventor from Columbia, ... a pen. "My wife’s hand was damaged in a firework accident, so she couldn’t ... people with manual problems." , He then designed and created a prototype for the ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Faithfully following pop culture, ... squatted, stretched, jumped, toned and shaped through fitness programs. It carries on to skin ... finished off with an irresistible, radiant smile. CDA has found that just ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... Chris Cornell, 52, was found dead on the night of ... the most respected lead singers in the rock industry would take his own life, but ... FindaTopDoc investigates how mental illness played a role in the death of Chris Cornell ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2017 , ... ... paragraph styled corporate text designs created specifically for use in Final Cut Pro ... process for all media productions. Pixel Film Studios’ ProParagraph Corporate will deliver a ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Florida Pain Relief Group, a division of Physician Partners of ... Silver Palm Ave., Melbourne, on Monday, May 22. Initially the clinic will be supervised ... practice, PPOA operates 23 pain management clinics in Florida and the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/8/2017)... , May 8, 2017 MACRA ... transition from fee for service reimbursement. Black Book Research ... 1.       The Market for MIPS Compliance ... 77% of physician practices with 3 or more clinicians ... Solutions by Q4. "Given the magnitude of the changes, ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017   Provista , a proven ... than 200,000 customers, today announced Jim Cunniff as ... of executive and business experience to Provista, including most recently ... in California . He assumed his new ... is a great fit for Provista," says Jody Hatcher ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... FALLS, N.Y. , May 5, 2017  Hill-Rom ... that will add approximately 100,000 square feet to its ... in September 2016 its commitment to bring more than ... , where Welch Allyn has maintained a significant ... will help accommodate these new positions, a large portion ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: