Navigation Links
Reining in nicotine use
Date:5/12/2011

A person's vulnerability to nicotine addiction appears to have a genetic basis, at least in part. A region in the midbrain called the habenula (from Latin: small reins) plays a key role in this process, as Dr. Ins Ibaez-Tallon and her team from the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have now shown. They also shed light on the mechanism that underlies addiction to nicotine (Neuron, May,12, 2011, Vol. 70, Issue 3, pp: 522-535; DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.04.013)*.

According to the World Health Organization WHO in Geneva, it is estimated that tobacco use kills more than five million people each year worldwide. Many of them die of lung cancer. "Two years ago, studies indicated that genetic variations in a specific gene cluster are risk factors for nicotine dependence and lung cancer," Dr. Ibaez-Tallon pointed out. She and her team, together with researchers from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France and the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, have now elucidated the mechanism underlying this dependence.

They investigated a specific receptor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is activated by nicotine in smokers and is encoded by this specific gene cluster, consisting of three subunits, that is three genes. "Although this gene cluster is present in the DNA of every cell, the receptor is only expressed in a few restricted areas of the brain. One of them is the habenula in the midbrain," Dr. Ibaez-Tallon explained.

The MDC researchers investigated this receptor and its subunits in egg cells of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and in transgenic mice. One of the three genes of the cluster is alpha5. "An important percentage of heavy smokers carry a single mutation in this gene. They are more prone to become addicted to nicotine and to develop lung cancer than individuals without this mutation," Dr. Ibaez-Tallon said.

Strong Aversion to Nicotine

A second gene in the gene cluster encoding this receptor is beta4. The MDC researchers demonstrated that transgenic mice expressing high levels of the beta4 gene have increased sensitivity to nicotine. These mice have a strong aversion to drinking water containing nicotine.

However, when the researchers expressed the mutated variant of the alpha5 gene via a lentivirus in the habenular brain region of these mice, after only two weeks the mice showed a preference for nicotine. Dr. Ibaez-Tallon and her colleagues conclude that only a balanced activity of these two genes can rein in nicotine use.


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbara Bachtler
bachtler@mdc-berlin.de
49-309-406-3896
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Secondhand Smoke May Trigger Nicotine Craving
2. Moderate levels of secondhand smoke deliver nicotine to the brain
3. Babies who sleep with smoker parents exhibit high nicotine levels
4. Nicotine Raises Blood Sugar Levels in Lab
5. Targeting nicotine receptors to treat cognitive impairments in schizophrenia
6. Nicotine exposure in pregnant rats puts offspring at risk for learning disabilities
7. Nicotine binding to receptor linked to breast cancer cell growth
8. Berkeley study shows ozone and nicotine a bad combination for asthma
9. Kids Could Overdose From Nicotine-Laced Candy
10. Nicotine Withdrawal Can Complicate Hospital Care
11. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1.1 Million For Clinical Trial of Transdermal Nicotine as Disease-Modifying Treatment For Parkinsons
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... An educational campaign aimed at everyone ... courtesy of awareness-driven celebrities and thought leaders. It also provides insight to the ... leaders such as Bioness. , As patients feel increasingly concerned about the ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Beleza Medspa has initiated ... regulations. This is the first time that Coolsculpting is being used for for ... six months to ensure they meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured by the circumference-based ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and ... stories, which come courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It ... advocates and associations—namely Abilene Christian University. , As the nursing industry is coming ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... trusted name in the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries. Aside from its GMP ... certification (SIC), providing proof of successfully certified products, services and staff. , Validation ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... There are many ways ... and Sausage Council (NHDSC) suggests that Americans prefer their dogs straight off the grill. ... say grilling is their favorite way to cook a hot dog, far outpacing other ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... Kitov Pharmaceuticals ... late-stage drug development, today announced the completion of ... batches required for registration of KIT-302 with the ... Kitov,s announcement in December 2015, that ... primary efficacy endpoint. "We are fortunate ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... May 26, 2016 A key ... is the emergence of new treatments. Cardax, a development ... osteoarthritis treatment. The therapy is expected to fulfil large ... UK is conducting studies to develop new treatments for ... the genes involved in osteoarthritis are being investigated, and ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... FDA 510(k) clearance covers Confocal Miniprobes ... and surgical applications Mauna Kea Technologies ... multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) platform, today announced ... the 12 th 510(k) clearance from United ... FDA clearance covers Confocal Miniprobes indicated for use ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: