Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Same Genes May Underlie Alcohol and Nicotine Co-Abuse

20.03.2006


Vulnerability to both alcohol and nicotine abuse may be influenced by the same genetic factor, according to a recent study supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).



In the study, two genetically distinct kinds of rat – one an innately heavy-drinking strain bred to prefer alcohol ("P" rats), the other strain bred to not prefer alcohol ("NP" rats) -- learned to give themselves nicotine injections by pressing a lever. Researchers found that P rats took more than twice as much nicotine as NP rats. Their findings were reported recently in the Journal of Neuroscience.

"Our findings suggest that the genetic factor underlying the high alcohol consumption seen in P rats may also contribute to their affinity for nicotine," said lead author A.D. Lê, Ph.D., a NIAAA-supported researcher at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and University of Toronto.


Researchers have known for some time that people who smoke are more likely to drink alcohol than non-smokers. Similarly, smoking is three times more common in people with alcoholism than in the general population. Since previous studies have also determined that genetics plays an important role in both alcohol and nicotine addictions, researchers have hypothesized that the same gene or genes may influence the co-abuse of these substances.

Investigating this hypothesis in human studies is stymied by the possibility that alcohol use leads to nicotine use, and vice versa. However, in the current study, researchers showed that the P rats’ affinity for nicotine could be demonstrated before the animals were ever exposed to alcohol.

P rats were also found to be more vulnerable to nicotine relapse than NP rats. Researchers withheld nicotine from the rats until their lever pressing occurred infrequently. Then, both P and NP rats were given a single nicotine injection. P rats, but not NP rats, resumed pressing the lever previously associated with nicotine infusions.

The researchers also showed that the P rats’ apparent genetic vulnerability to alcohol and nicotine does not appear to extend to other drugs of abuse. When P and NP rats learned to press a lever to receive cocaine, each group took about the same amount of that drug. The authors note that the lack of a difference in cocaine self-administration indicates that the difference between P and NP rats in nicotine self-administration is not due to a general "reward deficit" in NP rats.

"Selectively-bred P rats have been a reliable and useful animal model for studying diverse behavioral and physiological characteristics of alcohol abuse," notes NIAAA Director and study co-author Ting-Kai Li, M.D. "These findings suggest that they may be as useful for studying nicotine addiction. And by expanding our knowledge of the genetic underpinnings of alcohol and nicotine co-morbidity these findings will inform our efforts to address those important public health issues."

John Bowersox | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov
http://www.nih.gov

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>