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:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... For many artists, the ... Curt Walter has developed it into a science. , Using the new, highly ... subtly differentiated shades that add depth and meaning to his works. What’s more, it ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... In response to recent growth and a ... Vision and Blindness (NELV&B) , announces the opening of a new low vision showroom ... vision impairments to get assessments, hands-on experience and training with low vision and blindness ...
(Date:5/1/2016)... ... May 01, 2016 , ... ... that gives new mothers a better understanding of what to expect after they ... Adjusting to baby postpartum, · The blues and depression, · Breastfeeding beyond postpartum ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... 30, 2016 , ... Create an abstract shape animation with ... manipulate three-dimensional shapes with ease all within Apple Motion . Users have ... texture animation, opacity texture animation, overall shape texture displacement, twist, camera controls, and ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... ... questioned the use of the HyProCure sinus tarsi implant. ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/banned-quebec-dentist-pierre-dupont-working-as-chiropodist-in-ottawa-1.3515494 ) ... is a minimally invasive procedure performed, when indicated, to correct the partial ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016   Click here for supplemental information ... DPLO), the nation,s largest independent specialty pharmacy, announced ... to acquire Valley Campus Pharmacy, Inc., doing business ... specialty pharmacy that provides individualized patient care, based ... In 2015, TNH generated approximately $400 million in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  The blood testing market ... dollars, according to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia Group ... and nucleic acid testing.  The healthcare research firm said ... in developing blood collection stations and in improving testing ... Kalorama Information,s report, Blood Testing Market in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... N.J. , April 28, 2016   Acsis ... today announced that leading IT market research and advisory ... " in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Pharmaceutical Track and ... 2016).  The report provides an assessment of the capabilities ... track and trace software market. Logo - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: