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:1/13/2017)... ... January 13, 2017 , ... The 18th European Congress: Perspectives in Lung ... 3-4, 2017. This Congress is expertly designed to meet the educational needs of ... lung cancer. , Chaired by Dr. Giorgio V. Scagliotti, Professor of Oncology at the ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... Princeton, NJ (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 , ... ... of sale companions, will be showcasing the next generation companion scanner and data collector ... City. The new KDC270 has been created as an answer to the market’s need ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 , ... An inventor from Pahrump, Nev., ... many others. "My urologist had me wear a Foley catheter and urine bag for a ... difficult and uncomfortable, so I decided that there should be a better way to do ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... January 13, 2017 , ... People who have sensitive ... of pain whenever they brush their teeth. Sadly, most dental hygiene products in the ... gums and teeth. For these people, continuing their daily oral care routine to keep ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... January 13, 2017 , ... Friday, January 13 at 5 pm, America’s Incredible ... the size of the location to 90,000 square feet. , Included in the expansion ... takes customers on an educational tour of the historic route, with each hole in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... Tenn. , Jan. 16, 2017  Cumberland Pharmaceuticals ... of Kenneth J. Krogulski , CFA to its ... Executive Officer of Berkshire Asset Management LLC . ... a 30-year-old independent SEC registered investment advisory firm with ... has over 37 years, experience in security analysis and ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... Le conseil d,administration de SurgaColl Technologies Ltd., le ... régénération de tissus humains, annonce la nomination de William ... immédiat. ... Bill est un dirigeant expérimenté à l,international dans l,industrie des ... et de direction au sein de sociétés internationales spécialisées dans ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("InMed") (CSE: IN; OTCQB: ... Corporate Finance and Investment Banking at Eli Lilly & Company, ... Mr. Bott brings over 28 years of senior financial and ... ... has established a significant leadership position in financial and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: