Navigation Links
NIH-supported finding on cocaine addiction: Tiny molecule, big promise
Date:7/8/2010

A specific and remarkably small fragment of RNA appears to protect rats against cocaine addictionand may also protect humans, according to a recent study 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.

RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecules are known to play critical roles in the translation of genetic information (DNA) into proteins, which are the building blocks of life. In the past decade, scientists have begun to notice, catalogue and characterize a population of small RNAs, called microRNAs, that represent a new class of regulatory molecules. In this study, researchers at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida found that cocaine consumption increased levels of a specific microRNA sequence in the brains of rats, named microRNA-212. As its levels increased, the rats exhibited a growing dislike for cocaine, ultimately controlling how much they consumed. By contrast, as levels of microRNA-212 decreased, the rats consumed more cocaine and became the rat equivalent of compulsive users.

The study's findings suggest that microRNA-212 plays a pivotal role in regulating cocaine intake in rats and perhaps in vulnerability to addiction. Interestingly, the same microRNA-212 identified in this study, is also expressed in the human's dorsal striatum, a brain region that has been linked to drug abuse and habit formation.

"This study enhances our understanding of how brain mechanisms, at their most fundamental levels, may contribute to cocaine addiction vulnerability or resistance to it," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "This research provides a wonderful example of how basic science discoveries are critical to the development of new medical treatments and targeted prevention."

Rats with a history of extended cocaine access can demonstrate behavior similar to that observed in humans who are dependent on the drug. Current data show that about 15 percent of people who use cocaine become addicted to it. This study's findings suggest that microRNAs may be important factors contributing to this vulnerability.

"The results of this study offer promise for the development of a totally new class of anti-addiction medications," said Paul J. Kenny, senior author on the study and an associate professor at the Scripps research facility. "Because we are beginning to map out how this specific microRNA works, we may be able to develop new compounds to manipulate the levels of microRNA-212 therapeutically with exquisite specificity, opening the possibility of new treatments for drug addiction."


'/>"/>

Contact: NIDA Press Office
media@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Fresh findings about chickenpox could lead to better blood tests
2. Brain MRI in children: Incidental findings yield disclosure dilemmas for doctors, patients
3. VARI findings could help diagnose and treat liver cancer
4. Autism finding could lead to simple urine test for the condition
5. Findings suggest optimal dose
6. Those with allergic asthma face double trouble during flu season, UT Southwestern findings suggest
7. Martek Biosciences and the National Center for Creative Aging Introduce New Brain Health Awareness Campaign, "Beautiful Minds: Finding Your Lifelong Potential"
8. Finding cancer cold spots can help minimize radiotherapy side-effects
9. New Finding Could Mark Shift in Alzheimers Research
10. Scientists Report Key Finding in Breast Cancer Research
11. Research findings underscore needed action to safeguard lungs of young cancer survivors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... Wis. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... standard products to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. ... of probiotic experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the ... Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major ... to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and education, today announced ... Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie & Ozzie ... competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This year’s program ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... FL (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... On ... holding a treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American ... $300 or more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), ... in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , ... Following a ... sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and ... been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... Ill. , Oct. 5, 2017  In ... Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released ... opioids – to be used as a first-line ... pain. Recognizing ... the AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and named ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee , ... 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care ... "In an interoperable ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: