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:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... MadgeTech will be showcasing its line ... in Warner, New Hampshire at the MadgeTech headquarters. With products sold in more than ... by government agencies, including NASA. , In 2012, NASA strategically set up 17 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Memorial Day Weekend marks ... Amica Insurance is sharing tips to make sure your family and vehicle are ... National Safety Council, there may be 439 deaths and an additional 50,500 serious injuries ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Nike Yoga Camps at ... daily practices, arts & crafts, discussions, and games all geared towards enhancing your ... have combined backgrounds in kids’ yoga, collegiate sport yoga instruction, and global yoga ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Bunion Bootie , the manufacturer ... treatment was more than humbled by customer demand over the Mother’s Day Weekend promotion. ... sale. Now that Bunion Bootie has completely replenished its inventory levels, it hopes to ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Workrite ... sales leadership and to further develop their rapidly expanding portfolio of customer and ... with a concentration in Marketing and an M.B.A. with concentration in management from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... 2016 A key trend that ... emergence of new treatments. Cardax, a development stage life ... The therapy is expected to fulfil large unmet medical ... conducting studies to develop new treatments for osteoarthritis. One ... involved in osteoarthritis are being investigated, and early trials ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Since its commercial introduction in ... life science tool for conducting genetic studies in a ... in its new report that the industry sits on ... by a range of new applications in the clinical ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/694805 ) , Since the Human ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... HILDEN , Deutschland und GERMANTOWN, ... Zusammenarbeit mit Therawis bedient ... Entscheidungen bei Brustkrebs   QIAGEN N.V. ... QIA) gab heute bekannt, eine Lizenz- und Entwicklungsvereinbarung ... prädiktiver Assays für die Onkologie eingegangen zu sein. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: