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:2/18/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... Butler Mobility invited Ken Matthews to visit its manufacturing ... Ken was impressed with the safety and reliability of the Stannah Stairlift as ... show. This endorsement by Ken Matthews can be heard on News Radio WHP ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... ... Smiles by Seese is a comprehensive family dental practice located ... practice as a skilled and highly credentialed dentist who is qualified to perform a ... all ages with excellence in general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry . Their services ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... Feb. 22, 2017 — 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET, http://www.fdanews.com/deviceapproval ... asking before selecting an FDA approval pathway? , How should they evaluate ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... 2017 season , Trinity Health and the U.S. Soccer Foundation announced today that ... in underserved communities. Soccer for Success, the Foundation’s soccer mentoring program, teaches kids ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... , ... Like most hospitals across the nation, Onslow Memorial Hospital is looking ... Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), the return of a patient to the hospital within 30 ... While many providers are struggling to leverage limited resources and technology, Onslow Memorial Hospital ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... 17, 2017  Featuring new and ... the  2017 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition (HIMSS17 ),  Royal ... global leader in health technology,  will ... population health management, acute healthcare informatics ... a highly secure, cloud-based ecosystem. Visitors ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... EXTON, Pa. , Feb. 16, 2017 ... drugs, biologics, and medical devices, is pleased to announce ... Ph.D., has been selected as a winner of the ... SmartCEO Magazine and recognizes driven executives for ... undeniable work ethic. The awards ceremony and celebration is ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017 The global preparative and process ... by 2021 from USD 5.49 billion in 2016, at ... basis of type, the preparative and process chromatography market ... 2016, the process chromatography segment is expected to account ... process chromatography. Growth in this segment can primarily be ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: