Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mechanism behind cocaine craving identified

15.08.2008
A possible future way to prevent relapses into drug dependence has been discovered by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden and the German cancer research center DKFZ. The target is the dopamine-producing nerve cells in the midbrain.

Earlier research has shown that these cells become more excitable when a person takes drugs. To find out the functional meaning of this, these researchers used a mouse model for cocaine dependence.

When they blocked the cells' receptors for glutamate ­- the brain's most important signal substance -­ the risk of relapsing into addiction vanished. The findings are being published in the highly ranked journal Neuron.

Dopamine-producing nerve cells are central to the brain's reward system. Dependence-inducing drugs cause concentrations of dopamine to rise in the surroundings, which in turn affects other nerve cells and brings about various physical and mental reactions.

Cocaine has a very rapid impact on dopamine levels, which explains why it is one of the most addictive drugs.

"When you take cocaine, the number of glutamate receptors increases, rendering the cell more excitable. When we block this process, we prevent relapses into addiction. This is interesting clinically since that is the phase when we can get hold of patients," says David Engblom, a neurobiologist at Linköping University and the study's lead author.

An addict who wants to give up drugs could thus be offered a 'vaccination' against relapsing. But much more research remains to be done before such treatment can become a reality.

The article "Glutamate Receptors on Dopamine Neurons Control the Persistence of Cocaine-Seeking" by David Engblom et al. is being published in Neuron on August 14.

Contact:
David Engblom, Assistant professor,
Division of Cell Biology,
cell phone: +46 (0)70-2611302; e-mail: daven@ibk.liu.se

Åke Hjelm | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility
14.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Guardians of the Gate
14.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>