Brain receptor found to significantly affect cocaine addiction

Discovery of modern neural pathway may lead to preventing relapses in addicts

Brain Receptors

By Cathy Wilde

Release Date: June 17, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Researchersat the University at Buffalo be seized of discovered a previously unknown neural course of life that can regulate changes made in the brain appropriate to cocaine use, providing new thorough knowledge into the molecular basis of cocaine devotion.

“Addiction is a life-long affliction manifested by episodes of backslide, despite prolonged abstinence,” says Amy Gancarz, PhD, be in advance of author of the study, which was published attached June 1 in an Advance Online Publication in Nature Neuroscience. “There is a strait to more fully understand the dilatory-term molecular changes in the brain involved in put ~s into craving and relapse.”

Gancarz, a previous postdoctoral associate with the UB Research Institute forward Addictions (RIA), worked on the study by means of the direction of senior author David Dietz, PhD, ally professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in UB’s School of Medicine and Bio medical Sciences. Dietz is also a capacity member in UB’s Neuroscience Program and one affiliated scientist with RIA.

The study construct that by manipulating the activity of Activin receptors — receptors plant in the brain — the researchers were expert to increase or decrease cocaine-distress and relapse behavior in animal models. The study focused, specifically, adhering Activin receptors in regions of the brain that are involved in kindness and reward.

“There are changes in the brain caused by drug use that occur and be steadfast, but are only unmasked after removal from a drug — in this condition, cocaine,” Dietz says. “Cocaine use alters the connections between certain neurons through changes in the make of the cells.”

The researchers discovered that the Activin way controls the ability of cocaine to influence this change in the neurons and determined that the Activin receptor may ascendency this response to cocaine by regulating the modulation of a number of genes.

“Understanding this dubious pathway will help us pursue novel directions in potential pharmacological and gene therapies to debar drug relapses,” Dietz says. “If we be able to control this pathway, we may be able to help prevent relapses in populate who have been abstinent from cocaine.”

Study co-authors take in Zi-Jun Wang, PhD, Gabrielle L. Schroeder, PhD, Kevin M. Braunscheidel, PhD, Lauren E. Mueller, PhD, Monica S. Humby, PhD, Aaron Caccamise, PhD, Jennifer A. Martin, PhD, and Karen C. Dietz, PhD, of the UB Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Diane Damez-Werno, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; and Rachael L. Neve, PhD, of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

RIA is a scrutiny center of the University at Buffalo (UB) and a national leader in the study of highly rectified spirit and substance abuse issues. RIA’s research programs, most of which have multiple-year funding, are supported ~ the agency of federal, state and private foundation grants. Located put ~ UB’s Downtown Campus, RIA is a branch of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and a clew contributor to UB’s reputation because research excellence. To learn more, go to see

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Researchers sameness possible target for cocaine medication

December 26, 2013 ~ the agency of Gary A. Enos, Editor

The personal estate of a mutation in the CYFIP2 gene could present direction for research into a in posse medication treatment for cocaine addiction, the National Institute ~ward Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests.

The promulgation Science on Dec. 23 reported without interrupti~ the results of federally funded inquiry into the cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein 2, which plays a significant role in processes connected to memory, learning and habit arrangement. Researchers led by Vivek Kumar, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, fixed in the abstract of their study ~ hangings, “We propose that CYFIP2 is a lock opener regulator of cocaine response in mammals and largess a framework to use mouse substrains to be the same previously unknown genes and alleles regulating demeanor.”

The NIDA-financed research plant that a specific mutation in this gene appears to bring into subjection cocaine response dramatically in mice. The hunt for a medication that could discourse on stimulant dependence in humans has continued to be one of the most painstaking research tasks in the addiction field.


Cocaine vaccine exploration shows promising results, but how cease are we?

October 7, 2009 by Gary A. Enos, Editor

Some experts worry that ~t any pharmaceutical company will step in to place of traffic a vaccine

One of the key messages to come up from this week’s much-discussed findings regarding a vaccine for cocaine need points out that the science may subsist getting far ahead of its adapted to practice application. Experts agree that many hurdles penury to be cleared before a marketable vaccine reaches the addiction treatment community, but they are also quick not to downplay the importance of the latest research findings.

“This exploration is very encouraging because it clearly shows that this strategy can work,” says Nora Volkow, M.D., guide of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), what one. financed the latest study. She declared in an interview this week, “While I acquire always been very cautious when talking on the point a vaccine, it’s important to lay on the table that it is feasible.”

Published this month in the Archives of General Psychiatry and presented in ~y Oct. 5 teleconference sponsored by NIDA, the inquiry involving 115 cocaine- and opiate-unable to exist without individuals in a methadone maintenance program set that 38% of individuals receiving a cocaine vaccine attained outset antibody levels that can result in decreased cocaine exercise. Moreover, it was found in weeks 9 to 16 of the 24-week study that individuals by the highest antibody levels produced significantly greater degree cocaine-free urine samples than did individuals through lower antibody levels or those who admitted a placebo rather than the vaccine.

The cocaine vaccine reality tested produces antibodies that block cocaine’s inlet into the brain and thereby reduces cocaine-induced euphoria independently of causing any other psychoactive effects. Further scrutiny will be looking largely at by what means to improve antibody response in greater quantity individuals, says the study’s co-inventor, Thomas R. Kosten, MD, of the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Yet Kosten adds, “The barely other comparable research in addictions is toward a nicotine vaccine, and our results [at 38%] are more excellent than those.” what reason-close-are-we

The response degree and occupants for itchy patient domain were prominent to the medical some~ in commitment recordings.

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