Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Yerkes researchers discover natural brain chemical reduces effects of cocaine

03.12.2003


Researchers led by Jason Jaworski, PhD, and Michael Kuhar, PhD, both at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, have shown that CART peptide, a chemical that occurs naturally in both the rodent and human brain, reduces some effects of cocaine when additional amounts are administered to the region of the brain that is associated with reward and addiction. These findings, which were presented on November 8 at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, appear in the December issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and suggest CART peptide receptors in the brain could be targets for developing medications to treat cocaine abuse.



For their study, Dr. Jaworski, a post-doctoral fellow, and Dr. Kuhar, chief of the Neuroscience Division at Yerkes and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, infused CART peptide into the nucleus accumbens (NA) of rodents to determine how it affects the increase of body movement, or locomotor activity, that is widely seen as one effect of psychostimulant drugs. The researchers observed that the cocaine-induced movement was reduced after the rodents received CART peptide. "This is the first study to demonstrate CART peptides in the nucleus accumbens hinder the effects of cocaine," said Dr. Jaworski. "Our findings open a door to develop potential treatment options for cocaine addiction."

When infused into other areas of the "pleasure pathway," the part of the brain in both rodents and humans that is activated when cocaine is administered, CART peptide has been shown to produce minimal psychostimulant-like effects. "Past studies have shown CART peptide is slightly cocaine-like in other areas of the brain, but nevertheless inhibits further stimulation from the drug," said Dr. Kuhar. "While additional research will be necessary, we have demonstrated the importance of CART peptide in combating or slowing down some of the effects of cocaine."


The researchers’ immediate next steps are to study CART peptide’s mechanism of action on the brain, as well as to determine if rodents who have been treated with CART peptide will administer less cocaine to themselves than those that have not been treated. They hope to determine how CART peptide produces the "anti-cocaine" effect so they can one day begin to develop treatments for cocaine addiction in humans.


The Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University is one of eight National Primate Research Centers funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Yerkes Research Center is a multidisciplinary research institute recognized as a leader in biomedical and behavioral studies with nonhuman primates. Yerkes scientists are on the forefront of developing vaccines for AIDS and malaria, and treatments for cocaine addiction and Parkinson’s disease. Other research programs include cognitive development and decline, childhood visual defects, organ transplantation, the behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy and social behaviors of primates. Leading researchers located worldwide seek to collaborate with Yerkes scientists.

Lisa Newbern | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.emory.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>