Navigation Links
Preclinical inquiry into 1 mutation sheds light on addiction and a birth defect
Date:8/15/2010

DURHAM, N.C. -- When a certain protein is mutated or missing, symptoms of the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome arise, causing a gradual loss of brain function during early development.

This fact led Duke University Medical Center researchers to test a theory that the protein might also contribute to nerve-cell connection (synapse) changes in a fully formed adult mouse brain when exposed to psychostimulant use.

In two experiments with mice, Anne West, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of neurobiology, and Duke colleagues found that virally manipulating levels of the methyl-binding protein MeCP2 in the brains of adult mice affected their place preference, a measure of the rewarding properties of the amphetamines the mice consumed in that location. The mice that had less of the MeCP2 protein kept returning to the same location in hope of getting more of the drug.

The study was published Aug. 15 in Nature Neuroscience.

Scientists have speculated that psychostimulant drugs make long-lasting changes to synapses that lead to addictive types of behavior. When the researchers changed the expression levels of MeCP2, they noticed a proportional relationship.

"The body may increase MeCP2 as a way to reset the reward threshold," West said. "You decrease the sense of reward when you increase MeCP2. It might be the body's compensation and way to maintain balance."

These studies show that MeCP2 is involved in the process through which repeated amphetamine use changes both the structure and the function of the brain, West said.

"Until now, nobody had experimentally linked MeCP2 to the effects of stimulant drugs," West said. "I was surprised that subtle manipulations of the protein in adult mice had effects on behavior that were profound. In addition there are multiple effects of losing MeCP2 in mutant mice and we could see the effects on brain development in the young mice."

The study suggests that the methyl-DNA binding protein MeCP2 is important in regulating the rewarding properties of psychostimulant drugs, which may lead to treatments for people who overuse stimulants, West said.

"MeCP2 is a transcriptional regulator that responds to an extracellular stimulus like an amphetamine, and we showed that it can modulate synapses in the part of the brain (nucleus accumbens) that is responsible for reward," she said.

She said the next step is to learn what is happening on a molecular level to cause these effects.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Kineta Awarded NIH Grant to Complete Preclinical Studies on Type 1 Diabetes / Multiple Sclerosis Drug Candidate
2. Targeted agent blocked growth of deadly brain cancer in preclinical studies
3. BRAF inhibitor shows promising preclinical activity against melanoma
4. Jill Greenfield Comments on the Numerous Failings Highlighted by the Griffin Inquiry into Godstone Farm E.Coli 0157 Outbreak
5. Single gene mutation induces endometrial cancer
6. Genetic Mutation Linked to Prostate Cancer in Blacks
7. Gene Mutations Identified for Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome
8. Study shows that mutations in 1 gene cause many cancers
9. Parkinsons Linked to Genetic Mutation
10. Breast cancer patients with BRCA mutations 4 times more likely to get cancer in opposite breast
11. Gene Mutations Up Risk for Cancer in Opposite Breast
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... fitness centers in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location ... club will occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the 2017 Morris F. ... AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium is taking place ... the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to an individual whose ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... has recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town ... article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health ... Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams ... Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... $3,296 in property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, ... By contrast, many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... -- AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that its CE-Marked AVACEN ... with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia in the ... Essex, England commented, "I had difficulty ... sleep at all, tremendous pain, with every movement sending ... AVACEN 100] enough, how this has and is helping ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in ... it has been ranked #1 by its users for the ... 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end ... medical centers over 200 beds and holds one of the ... survey history. ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, ... of bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced ... influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... to seasonal influenza and presents a challenge ... prior exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: