Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain chemical plays critical role in drinking and anxiety

10.08.2006
A brain protein that sustains nerve cells also regulates anxiety and alcohol consumption in rats, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago report in a study in the Aug. 9 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

In previous studies, the UIC researchers had first identified a gene that controls anxiety and alcohol consumption.

"We knew that gene, called CREB, controls the expression of a number of important genes in the brain," said Dr. Subhash Pandey, professor of psychiatry and anatomy and cell biology at UIC and Jesse Brown VA medical center and lead author of the paper. In the new study, they showed that a protein made by one of those CREB-controlled genes affects anxiety and drinking behavior depending on its level in two areas of the brain.

Pandey and his colleagues injected DNA of complementary sequence to the gene of the protein, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), into the brains of rats to block the gene from expressing BDNF. The "anti-sense" DNA was injected into three areas of the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with emotion and fear.

The researchers found that when levels of BDNF in the central and medial areas of the amygdala were lowered, anxiety and alcohol consumption increased. Decreased levels of BDNF in the third area, called the basolateral amygdala, had no effect.

When levels of BDNF in the central and medial amygdala were restored to normal by injecting BDNF, anxiety and alcohol consumption diminished.

The researchers measured anxiety by observing the rat's exploratory behavior in a maze. Alcohol consumption was measured by offering the animals one drinking bottle with water and one with alcohol, and noting the proportion of alcohol imbibed.

BDNF plays a vital role in the growth and maintenance of neurons. Many human studies have suggested that variations in the BDNF gene may be associated with alcoholism and anxiety disorders, Pandey said.

"In people, alcoholism is very frequently associated with anxiety disorders," he said. "And it is well established that high levels of anxiety promote alcohol consumption and also play a crucial role in relapse to alcohol drinking."

Pandey said the new research may suggest a target for drugs to treat or prevent anxiety and alcoholism.

"Our study suggests a molecular, neurochemical mechanism in the amygdala which may be responsible for the association of high levels of anxiety with excessive alcohol-drinking behavior," he said.

Jeanne Galatzer-Levy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

nachricht How gut bacteria can make us ill
18.01.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation

18.01.2017 | Information Technology

Reducing household waste with less energy

18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>