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:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Richard Strawn’s new ... during the time of a cancer diagnosis, surgery and recovery, the Psalms provided ... the many ways God shows love to those who are sick., Surgical Psalms ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... an opportunity for men and women to train as hospice volunteers. Volunteers provide ... life-limiting illness. For over 30 years, the agency has trained volunteers to be ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... leading manufacturers and marketers of high-quality anti-aging skincare solutions, recently announced the launch ... new products are an affordable, yet effective alternative to expensive plastic surgery or ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... ... The Eyes of A Child” is the creation of published author, Pauline DiBenedetto. , “As ... Since she was in such great pain, my mother thought that her time has come. ... wasn’t until I was about eight years old, when I had a vision of my ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... The first study to report ... myeloma has been completed, with the team’s findings now published online ahead of print ... Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, was ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/4/2017)... Aug. 3, 2017  Agragen, LLC, a ... in the biopharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and aquacultural feed sectors, ... its lead drug candidates, AGR131.  This drug is ... from the blood of patients suffering from inflammatory ... bowel disease. ...
(Date:8/2/2017)... and BENTON, Ky. , Aug. 2, 2017   Marshall County ... its environmental services (ES) team to proactively reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The ... disinfection robot that uses UVC light energy to kill deadly pathogens such as C. ... Tru-D SmartUVC ... Tru-D in action in ...
(Date:8/1/2017)... , Aug. 1, 2017   CerSci Therapeutics ... Dallas, Texas , has received notice from ... National Institutes of Health (NIH) that it has been ... grant totaling over $650,000 in 2017 with an additional ... CerSci,s Investigational New Drug application of their lead non-opioid ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: