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:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... CloudLIMS, joins an elite ... Life Sciences Tech Solution Providers list of 2016 by CIOReview. , In a deliberate ... Life Sciences Tech Solution Providers 2016 has been concluded with. The positioning is based ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Cheryl Bowker of Bowker Insurance Group ... Dick McKenna Good Hands Legacy Award. McKenna ran one of Allstate’s most successful agencies ... inspire all those who knew him. The award named for him is not given ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Afrimesure specializes in providing clients ... to food and HVAC facilities. Their knowledgeable staff also takes care of the ... applications, Afrimesure offers a variety of MadgeTech systems available for sterilization and temperature ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Conrad ... annual Medical and Prescription Drug survey , an employee benefits ... which was conducted in December 2015, indicates that employers are turning to consumer ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... For more than fifty years, we've suffered ... we changed our diets to conform to the latest nutritional advice – advice that was ... the NIH, more than 2 in 3 American adults are considered to be overweight and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Cirujanos ... para ayudar a los médicos a compartir sus mejores ... a escala mundial. Profesionales médicos de Europa, África, ... han apuntado a la aplicación, que combina la transmisión ... entorno totalmente seguro. Educación   "Imagine ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  Diana Russell suffers from ... organs from the inside out.  This disease has put ... on her children and grandchildren to leave her home.  ... Diana,s family cannot haul the wheelchair.  So if there ... car, and Diana is left to wait for the ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016 Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ: ... company, today provided an update on its ongoing ... trial combining GEN-1, the Company,s DNA-based immunotherapy, with ... newly-diagnosed patients with advanced ovarian cancer who will ... GEN-1 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid vector formulated ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: