HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Gene therapy reduces drinking in "alcoholic" rats

UPTON, NY -- Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown that increasing the level of a brain protein important for transmitting pleasure signals can turn rats that prefer alcohol into light drinkers, and those with no preference into near teetotalers. The findings, published in the first September 2001 issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry (Vol. 78, No. 5), may have implications for the prevention and treatment of alcoholism in humans.

"This is a preliminary study, but when you see a rat that chooses to drink 80 to 90 percent of its daily fluid as alcohol, and then three days later it's down to 20 percent, that's a dramatic drop in alcohol intake -- a very clear change in behavior," said Panayotis Thanos, the lead researcher. "This gives us great hope that we can refine this treatment for future clinical use."

The protein in question is the so-called D2 receptor for dopamine, a chemical that transmits brain signals necessary for experiencing feelings of pleasure and reward. Without receptors for dopamine, the signals get "jammed," and the pleasure response is blunted.

Previous studies have shown that alcohol abuse and other addictive drugs increase the brain's production of dopamine. But, over time, these drugs also deplete the brain's D2 receptors. This research has suggested that alcoholics increase their intake to try to override the blunted pleasure response, and that people with low levels of D2 receptors may be predisposed to alcohol abuse. These ideas led the Brookhaven researchers to hypothesize that increasing the level of D2 receptors might decrease alcohol intake.

The researchers tested this hypothesis in experimental rats by injecting a virus that had been rendered harmless and altered to carry the D2 receptor gene directly into the rats' brains. The idea behind this gene therapy is that the virus acts as a vector or mechanism to deliver the gene to the brain cells in the nucle
'"/>

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
5-Sep-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Targeted therapy knocks out pediatric brain cancer in mice
2. New anti-inflammatory strategy for cancer therapy identified by UCSD researchers
3. Columbia research to examine gene influence on severity of peridontal disease, therapy response
4. Case for IBD combination therapy comes from research at Baylor, MIT and Hebrew University
5. The search for a kinder, gentler chemotherapy
6. Embryonic stem cell therapy shows steady benefits in rebuilding infarcted heart
7. Retroviral gene therapy? ASLV, HIV, and MLV show distinct target site preferences
8. Gene changes linked to increased eye pressure may have implications for glaucoma therapy
9. Jefferson Lab detector technology aids development of cystic fibrosis therapy
10. Stroking up cellular therapy
11. Smart gene therapy protects against damage from heart attack

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/1/2016)... , February 1, 2016 ... advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ... --> Rising sales of consumer electronics coupled with ... control market size through 2020 ... electronics coupled with new technological advancements to drive global ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... --  Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today announced the ... Airport, New York City , to help ... enter the United States using passports that ... testing of the system at Dulles last year. The system ... January 2016. --> pilot testing of the system ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016 A market that just ... benefit from the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn all ... Research. A range of dynamic trends are pushing market ... personalized medicine - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - next ... markets - greater understanding of the role of genetic ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Latham, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... photodiode packages at the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco’s Moscone ... and 14 in the same venue. , These latest InGaAs PIN diode standard ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... (PROMPT), a research registry built on the secure online PatientCrossroads platform, has exceeded ... than 1,600 participants have joined the PROMPT study, which seeks to advance understanding ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... has announced a new agreement with Singapore-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) and ... Philippines, Thailand and Singapore in the latest adipose and bone marrow therapies. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... services and current winner of the Highest Overall Customer Rating Award from ... all of its business units across the USA, Canada, Mexico and China. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: