HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
UNC scientists find important new clue to puzzle of addictive behavior

CHAPEL HILL -- By applying a novel technique to measure changes in chemicals in the brain instantly, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have discovered what they believe is a major new clue to what causes addictions to cocaine and possibly other drugs including alcohol and tobacco.

The scientists have found that the neurotransmitter dopamine, which earlier was linked to mammals' internal reward system and to drug abuse, increased significantly in the brain moments before laboratory rats decided to get more cocaine by pressing on a special bar.

That chemical signal, triggered by an outside cue, appears to cause the rodents to seek the drug and may parallel what happens moments before humans seek out substances to which they are addicted.

"Our findings reveal for the first time that rapid dopamine transmission occurs during key components of cocaine-seeking behavior and during presentation of cocaine-associated stimuli," said Dr. Regina M. Carelli, associate professor of psychology at UNC. "Rather than just having a pharmacological effect, dopamine increases in response to cues that have a learned association to cocaine. "Our work indicates that just the anticipation of receiving cocaine may cause significant increases in dopamine levels that may control drug-taking behaviors."

A report on the findings appears in the April 10 issue of Nature, a scientific journal. Besides Carelli, authors, all at UNC, are Dr. Paul E.M. Phillips, research assistant professor of psychology; Garret D. Stuber and Michael L.A.V. Heien, graduate students in neurobiology and chemistry, respectively; and Dr. R. Mark Wightman, Kenan professor of chemistry.

The experiments involved surgically inserting a delicate carbon fiber electrode into an area of the rats' brains called the nucleus accumbens that has been associated with drug use to measure changes in dopamine concentrations in relation to rats' behavior, Phillips said. Previ
'"/>

Contact: David Williamson
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
9-Apr-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. DNA lends scientists a hand, revealing new chemical reactions
2. Conference at UH opens doors for new scientists, engineers
3. Wisconsin scientists develop quick botox test
4. UCI scientists successfully target key HIV protein; breakthrough may lead to new drug therapies
5. Alaska scientists find Arctic tundra yields surprising carbon loss
6. UAF scientists discover new marine habitat in Alaska
7. Information system to help scientists analyze mechanisms of social behavior
8. Zoonotic diseases - European scientists unite to fight diseases
9. Israeli scientists reveal the plan of a key cellular machine
10. Study by Israeli scientists provides insight on DNA code
11. Computer scientists at UH developing nurturing computers

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


(Date:5/30/2020)... , ... May 29, 2020 , ... ... digital transformation for enterprises globally, has collaborated with EchoNous Inc. to develop the ... It can measure systolic heart function, which has been clinically tested versus expert ...
(Date:5/28/2020)... ... May 28, 2020 , ... Actuate Therapeutics, ... their 1801 Phase 1/2 study (NCT03678883, EudraCT #: 2018-003739-32) will be presented at ... place virtually on May 29th, 2020. Dr. Benedito Carneiro, Brown University’s principal investigator ...
(Date:5/21/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... May 19, ... ... the leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of operations management solutions, today introduced BioMed ... module provides a cloud-based platform for connecting the people and systems around ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 30, 2020 , ... ... that the launch of a new clinical diagnostics immuno-oncology service, TissueInsight ... microenvironment (TME). , “Flagship’s TissueInsight is a service that aids pathologists, oncologists, ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 26, 2020 , ... ... solutions providers, today announced its strong opposition to the recently introduced bicameral ... a blanket ban on most federal use of nearly all biometric and related ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... , ... June 22, 2020 , ... ... glutamine antagonist, DRP-104, will be presented June 22-24 during the American Association for ... DRP-104; and, the other profiles the potent, consistent single agent activity in KEAP1 ...
(Date:6/11/2020)... ... June 09, 2020 , ... ... of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funded by the National Institute ... Toxin Detection in the Field”. The project’s goal was to engineer and develop ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: