Navigation Links
In NIH-funded study, researchers uncover step in brain events leading up to addiction
Date:8/15/2010

A regulatory protein best known for its role in a rare genetic brain disorder also may play a critical role in cocaine addiction, according to a recent study in rats, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla. found that cocaine consumption increased levels of a regulatory protein called MeCP2 that shuttles back to the nucleus to influence gene expression in the brains of rats. As levels of MeCP2 increased in the brain, so did the animals' motivation to self-administer cocaine. This suggests that MeCP2 plays a crucial role in regulating cocaine intake in rats and perhaps in determining vulnerability to addiction.

"This discovery, using an animal model of addiction, has exposed an important effect of cocaine at the molecular level that could prove key to understanding compulsive drug taking," said Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of NIDA. "It should open up new avenues of research on the causes and ways to counter the behavioral changes linked to addiction in humans."

This is the second time this year that a critical factor related to cocaine self-administration in rodents has been identified. In a study published in July in the journal Nature, Scripps researchers identified regulatory molecule miRNA-212 as playing a key role in cocaine intake. However, MeCP2 increased motivation for cocaine, whereas miRNA-212 had the opposite effect, suggesting that the latter plays a protective role against drug seeking.

In the current study, researchers discovered that the brain's balance between MeCP2 and miRNA-212 ultimately regulates cocaine intake. When the balance shifts toward MeCP2, cocaine intake increases. When the balance shifts toward miRNA-212, cocaine intake decreases. What determines the balance is not yet understood, however, and will be the focus of future research.

"This study represents another piece in the puzzle of determining vulnerability to cocaine addiction," said Paul J. Kenny, senior author on the study and an associate professor at Scripps. "If we can continue putting the pieces together, we may be able to determine whether there are viable treatments for this condition."


'/>"/>

Contact: NIDA Press Office
media@nida.nih.gov
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. NIH-funded study finds early HAART during TB treatment boosts survival rate in co-infected people
2. University of Mississippi Medical Center to lead in nationwide NIH-funded Alzheimers study
3. NIH-funded scientists find 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine protects mice from 1918 flu virus
4. Researchers develop magnetic molecular machines to deliver drugs to unhealthy cells
5. UCLA researchers discover protein that shuttles RNA into cell mitochondria
6. Help wanted: Highly cited researchers needed for high-ranking positions at research institutions
7. NIST researchers measure high infrared power levels from some green lasers
8. Mayo Clinic researchers share latest findings in CT radiation dose reduction efforts
9. Researchers develop advanced search tool to help physicians sort and retrieve vital EMR data
10. Researchers identify key enzyme in DNA repair pathway
11. Researchers study benefits of white button mushrooms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... Bethpage, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... florist-quality long-stem roses in a variety of colors, assortments and packaging. This staple for ... at any King Kullen location. , For Valentine’s Day, not only are long-stem ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Buffalo, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 ... ... regional partners and setting the stage for new clinical and scientific initiatives have ... one year after she was appointed President and CEO of the nation’s oldest ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... of micro-needling services in their Napa Valley office. The technique utilizes the body’s ... Associates, Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas, are part of only a select few ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... After years as an active staff surgeon and having served ... Dr. Wayne Carman transitioned to chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at what ... as chief and began a second three-year term in January of 2016. , The ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Illinois (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... and independent PROSHRED franchises from across the country gathered at the La Valencia ... recognize top performers. PROSHRED Chicago was named the year’s most outstanding franchise, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... of POZEN Inc. ("POZEN") and Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. ("Tribute") ... and shareholders of Tribute. The combined company will operate ... company with operations in Canada , ... United States . Under the terms of the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... February 5, 2016 --> ... report states that the global active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs) ... predicted to reach US$185.9 bn by 2020. It is ... 2014 to 2020. The title of the report is ... by Geography, and by Therapeutic Area) - Global Industry ...
(Date:2/5/2016)...  Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC ), the world,s ... office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced today ... a majority ownership interest in Dental Cremer S.A., a ... Brazil . --> ... the dental distribution business of Cremer S.A. With 2015 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: