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Subtle Changes In Brain Receptor Gene May Have Significant Consequences For Addiction

diverse biological functions, including the nervous system, stress response and in addictive diseases.

"The approximately threefold greater binding of beta-endorphin suggests that individuals carrying A118G may show differences in some of the functions mediated by beta-endorphin action at the altered mu opioid receptors," says Kreek. "Thus, for example, response to stress, reproductive function and pain perception could be altered. Moreover, subtle changes could have significant effects on the susceptibility or vulnerability to develop mulitfactorial diseases, such as specific addictions."

Kreek's senior co-author on the paper is Lei Yu, professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Kreek's and Yu's co-authors are molecular biologists K. Steven LaForge, James Schluger and Lisa Borg, and registered nurse Dorothy Melia in the Laboratory on the Biology of Addictive Diseases at Rockefeller; Suzanne M. Leal, assistant professor in the Laboratory of Statistical Genetics at Rockefeller; molecular biologist Cherie Bond, molecular neurobiologist Mingting Tian and Jay A. Tischfield, professor, at Indiana University School of Medicine; and graduate student Shengwang Zhang, molecular biologist Jianhua Gong, and electrophysiologist Judith A. Strong, research associate professor at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

This research was supported in part by NIDA and the National Human Genome Research Institute, both part of the federal government's National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by a General Clinical Research Center grant from the National Center for Research Resources at NIH.


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Contact: Joseph Bonner
runews@rockvax.rockefeller.edu
212-327-7900
Rockefeller University
4-Aug-1998


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