Navigation Links
Research sheds new light on heroin addiction
Date:5/14/2008

Researchers from the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne have identified a factor that may contribute towards the development of heroin addiction by manipulating the adenosine A2A receptor, which plays a major role in the brains reward pathway.

Using mice specifically bred without the adenosine A2A receptor, Prof Andrew Lawrence and his team showed that these mice had a reduced desire to self-administer morphine; heroin is converted to morphine in the body. The mice also self-administered less morphine compared to control littermates, but did not develop tolerance to specific behavioural effects of morphine.

The researchers also found that the mice did not develop a conditioned place preference for the drug, indicating that drug-context associations are mediated in part by this receptor. In human terms, this equates to the associative memory of the environment where the drug is used.

Collectively, these findings strongly suggest that the adenosine A2A receptor is involved in regulating the reinforcing and motivational properties of opiates.

Prof Lawrence said this was the first study to show that the adenosine A2A receptor was implicated in self-motivation to take opiates such as heroin.

This receptor clearly plays a major role in opiate use and therefore abuse, as the mice were simply not interested in taking morphine despite it being freely available, he said.

Although the drug-taking effects and behaviours of these mice were diminished, they still relapsed into drug-seeking after a period of withdrawal.

This indicates that the adenosine A2A receptor has a role in the getting high aspects of addiction, but not in the adaptations that contribute to relapse after going cold turkey.

The results from this study reinforce that addiction is a highly complex brain disorder that will require a multi-pronged approach to treat.

Australia has over 50,000 heroin users. There are effective medical treatments available, such as methadone, buprenorphine and suboxone, as well as psychological interventions, but a better understanding of how heroin affects the brain could lead to improvements and broadening of these treatment options.

Drugs alone will not be the answer successful treatment of drug addiction will require a combination of drugs and psychotherapy, Prof Lawrence said.

Drugs alone will not be the answer successful treatment of drug addiction will require a combination of drugs and attention to social and psychological factors, Prof Lawrence said.

A number of major pharmaceutical companies are developing drugs that block the adenosine A2A receptor, so Prof Lawrences research provides even more evidence that this receptor is an important target for treating drug addiction.

Prof Lawrence said that drugs affecting the adenosine A2A receptor show preclinical promise to treat alcohol addiction.

Earlier this year we found that the adenosine A2A receptor interacts with the mGlu5 glutamate receptor found in the brains reward pathway to regulate drug-seeking. Consequently, a drug developed to target both these receptors could have an even better result in treating addiction, he added.


'/>"/>

Contact: Merrin Rafferty
merrin.rafferty@florey.edu.au
61-383-441-658
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. Children of depressed moms do better when dad is involved, SLU researcher finds
3. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
4. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
5. New research shows how chronic stress worsens neurodegenerative disease course
6. New research explores newborn in-hospital weight loss
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
9. HIVs impact in Zimbabwe explored in new research
10. U.S. Research Funding Continues to Flatten as U.S. Health Costs Climb - in August 31 Science
11. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as ... of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to ... one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the ... In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, ... just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, ... the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity ... who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global ... Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition ... Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 2016 One of Australia,s successful ... of a new biotechnology company, Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 966 ... and to list on the ASX. Noxopharm is a ... enter a Phase 1 clinical study later this year. ... of the biggest problems facing cancer patients - the ability of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), ... Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, ... agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( www.vmsrehabsystemsinc.com ) reported today ... to build a strong and stable market for trading ... the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. Explains ... seeing an anomaly in market trading activities that may ... Company, but shareholders and market players as well. I ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: