Navigation Links
Scientists identify gene that influences alcohol consumption
Date:12/5/2007

A variant of a gene involved in communication among brain cells has a direct influence on alcohol consumption in mice, according to a new study by scientists supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Army.

Scientists do not know yet whether a similar gene variant, with a similar effect on alcohol consumption, exists in humans.

Known as Grm7, the gene encodes a receptor subtype that inhibits the release of glutamate and other neurotransmitter molecules that brain cells use to communicate with one another. Researchers identified a gene variant, or polymorphism, that reduces the abundance of Grm7 messenger RNA (mRNA) in brain tissue. mRNA is the molecular intermediate between a gene and its protein product. Mice that possess this gene variant drink more alcohol than do mice with higher brain levels of Grm7 mRNA. A report of the study appears as an online Article in Press in Genomics.

This is a noteworthy contribution, particularly since identifying genes that predispose to alcohol-related behaviors is such an arduous task, says NIAAA Director Ting-Kai Li, M.D.

Scientists have long known that genes account for a significant proportion of the risk for alcoholism. However, the fact that there are multiple such genes that interact with each other and with multiple environmental factors to influence drinking behavior has hampered studies aimed at isolating individual genes.

Controlling for this background noise -- the various gene-gene and gene-environment interactions -- presents considerable methodological challenges, notes first author Csaba Vadasz, Ph.D., professor of psychiatric research in the department of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and Director of the NeuroBehavioral Genetic Research Program at the Nathan Kline Institute in Orangeburg, N.Y.

To overcome these difficulties, Dr. Vadasz and colleagues applied a variety of genetic and analytic techniques to animals having nearly identical genetic background, but differing in their preference for alcohol, to identify a chromosomal region, and ultimately the Grm7 gene, associated with alcohol preference.

Our findings support emerging evidence of the critical role that the brains glutamate pathways play in addiction, says Dr. Vadasz. While dopamine has traditionally been cast as a central actor in the neurochemistry of substance use and abuse, recent studies indicate that glutamate systems play an important role in reinforcement and addiction.

If further studies show that a similar gene variant is relevant to alcohol problems in humans, the finding by Dr. Vadasz and colleagues may lead to new opportunities for developing drugs to treat alcohol dependence. Dr. Vadasz speculates that such drugs might be designed to control the level of the Grm7 gene product or modulate the activity of the gene product itself.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Bowersox
jbowersox@niaaa.nih.gov
301-443-3860
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New prion protein discovered by Canadian scientists may offer insight into mad cow disease
2. Scientists Probe Sepsis Deadly Secrets
3. Scientists puzzled by severe allergic reaction to cancer drug in the middle Southern US
4. Scientists Develop Natural Protection for Stored Foods
5. Scientists detect presence of marburg virus in african fruit bats
6. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
7. Scientists ID Likely Culprit in Popcorn Lung
8. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
9. Scripps Research scientists shed new light on how antibodies fight HIV
10. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
11. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... in Beverly Hills, California, will be included in the 2016 “Guide to America’s ... exceptional professionals based on the amalgamation of their education, experience, and professional associations. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Wilmington, Delaware (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 ... ... has released a new version of its SaaS LIMS, CloudLIMS Lite. CloudLIMS Lite ... from sample entry through labeling, storing, shipping and disposal. The new version is ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Sourced from the Isbre Springs beneath the ... its unmatched natural purity of just 6 ppm TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in addition ... has been available in several ShopRite and FoodTown stores in NJ and received rave ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... , ... "Pro3rd Accents Volume 2 is a set of 30 accented lower ... just a few clicks of the mouse," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel ... from various styles with accented animations, rigid boxes, simplistic lines, and more. In Addition, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... to build intelligent, connected applications, was named the best Sales Team of 2016 ... winner announcement was made today by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2016)... , Dec. 3, 2016  Findings from a ... of CTL019, an investigational chimeric antigen receptor T ... and young adult patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic ... oral session at the 58th American Society of ... 4:00-5:30 p.m.). The global Phase II study found ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- Persistence Market Research (PMR) delivers key ... titled, "Global Market Study on Cardiac Pacemaker: North America Regional ... 2016 and 2024". The global cardiac pacemaker market was valued ... likely to decline to US$ 3923.8 Mn by 2024. ... is anticipated to exhibit a declining CAGR of -0.5% ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 According to a ... by Product (Instruments, Reagents, Software), Technology (Immunoassay, Clinical ... Nephrology, Infectious Diseases) - Forecast to 2021" published ... USD 60.22 Billion in 2016. This market is ... during the forecast period (2016-2021) to reach USD ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: