Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


D-cycloserine reduces cocaine-seeking behavior in 'addicted' mice

Antibiotic that appears to control phobias may also be useful in treating addiction

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory provide further evidence that a drug known as D-cycloserine could play a role in helping to extinguish the craving behaviors associated with drug addiction. Their study found that mice treated with D-cycloserine were less likely to spend time in an environment where they had previously been trained to expect cocaine than mice treated with a placebo.

"Since the association between drugs and the places where they are used can trigger craving and/or relapse in humans, a medication that could aid in the reduction or even extinction of such responses could be a powerful tool in the treatment of addiction," said Carlos Bermeo, a Stony Brook University graduate student working under the direction of Brookhaven Lab neuroscientist Panayotis (Peter) Thanos. Bermeo will present these results in a talk at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego on Tuesday, November 6, 2007, at 11 a.m.

D-cycloserine was originally developed as an antibiotic. But it has also been shown to extinguish conditioned fear in pre-clinical (animal) studies, and has been successfully tested in human clinical trials for the treatment of acrophobia (fear of heights). This finding led several researchers to wonder whether D-cycloserine could extinguish drug-seeking behaviors as well.

In 2006, a group of scientists not affiliated with Brookhaven Lab tested this hypothesis in rats. They found that D-cycloserine facilitated the extinction of "cocaine conditioned place preference" - the tendency for the animals to spend more time in a chamber where they had been trained to expect cocaine than in a chamber where they had no access to the drug.

The Brookhaven study builds on the previous work and adds information on the drug dose effect, the lasting properties of the treatment, and the locomotor effects of this compound.

Bermeo and Thanos' group worked with C57bL/c mice. Animals were first trained to receive cocaine in a particular environment. Once conditioned place preference was established (that is, animals willingly spent more time in a cocaine-paired environment than in a "neutral" environment), the mice were treated with either D-cycloserine or saline and allowed to spend forty minutes in either the previously cocaine-paired environment (with the drug no longer available) or the neutral environment.

"This paradigm would be analogous to a clinical approach where the addict is returned to the environment that previously was the place of drug use (e.g., the neighborhood or home), but this time with no drug available," said Thanos. "Reduced seeking of the drug in the same environment - that is extinction behavior - is a great indicator of future success in treatment and reduced chance of relapse," he added.

Mice treated with D-cycloserine showed less preference for the cocaine-paired environment and did this more rapidly than mice treated with saline. The low dose (15 milligrams D-cycloserine per kilogram of body weight, given intraperitonially) showed a 10 percent decrease in time spent in the previously cocaine-paired environment, and the high dose (30 mg/kg i.p.) showed a 17 percent decrease in the time spent in the previously cocaine-paired environment. The high dose produced a more pronounced and consistent extinction than the lower dose.

Interestingly, animals treated with the high dose of D-cycloserine exhibited lower locomotor activity compared to both the low-dose D-cycloserine group and the saline-treated animals. These two groups exhibited similar levels of locomotor activity. This indicates that dosing may have to be fine tuned to achieve optimal efficacy with minimum side effects.

"It's important to remember that these are very preliminary results from a small animal study," Thanos cautions. "Much further research will be required before testing this drug in humans. But it is inspiring to know that this drug may show promise in treating cocaine addiction, which continues to take a toll on society and for which no pharmacological treatment currently exists."

Karen McNulty Walsh | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>