Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Enzyme regulates brain pathology induced by cocaine, stress

08.11.2007
Researchers have uncovered a key genetic switch that chronic cocaine or stress influences to cause the brain to descend into a pathological state.

In studies with mice they showed how chronic cocaine changes gene activity to enhance the addictive reward from the drug. And they showed similarly how chronic stress induces the same kinds of changes that hypersensitizes the brain, causing depression-like symptoms.

The researchers said their basic finding in the animals could lead to better treatments for addiction, depression and other psychiatric disorders.

Eric Nestler and colleagues published their findings in the November 8, 2007, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.

... more about:
»Brain »HDAC5 »Stress »cocaine

In their experiments, the researchers explored how chronic cocaine or stress exerts “epigenetic” control of genes in the brain. Such control involves repressing or activating genes by altering the structure of the chromatin that enwraps genes. Specifically, the researchers explored whether chronic cocaine or stress affect an enzyme called histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5). Normally, HDAC5 represses specific genes by removing molecules called acetyl groups from the histone proteins that make up the chromatin surrounding them. The researchers’ previous studies had shown that chronic cocaine administration in mice caused an increase in acetyl groups in a brain region called the nucleus accumbens (NAc), known to be involved in response to cocaine or stress.

The researchers’ studies showed that giving mice chronic cocaine led to a reduction in HDAC5, allowing some 172 genes to be activated. What’s more, they found that this loss of HDAC5 in the NAc made the mice more sensitive to the reward of chronic cocaine. They determined the animals’ reward-sensitivity to cocaine by measuring the mice’s preference for an area of a box that they were taught to associate with receiving cocaine.

The researchers also studied whether the animals’ adaptation to chronic stress involved HDAC5 levels. In these experiments, they exposed mice to aggressive mice and measured the resulting depressive behavior. The researchers found that such stress also reduced HDAC5 function, although through a different mechanism than for chronic cocaine.

“These data demonstrate a crucial role for HDAC5 in regulating behavioral adaptations to chronic stress as well as chronic cocaine and suggest that HDAC5 contributes to a molecular switch between acute stress responses and more long-lasting depression-like maladaptations,” wrote the researchers.

“The functions of HDAC5 described here provide new insight into the pathogenesis of drug addiction, depression, and other stress-related syndromes,” they wrote. “This fundamentally new insight into the molecular underpinnings of chronic maladaptation in brain could lead to the development of improved treatments for addiction, depression, and other chronic psychiatric disorders.”

Cathleen Genova | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com

Further reports about: Brain HDAC5 Stress cocaine

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>