Animals resistant to drunken behavior offer clues to alcoholism's roots

Animals with a remarkable ability to hold their liquor may point the way toward the genetic underpinnings of alcohol addiction, two separate research teams reported in the October 6, 2006 issue of the journal Cell. Earlier studies have shown that people with a greater tolerance for alcohol have a greater risk of becoming alcoholics, according to the researchers.

In one study, researchers at the Fondazione Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare in Italy found that mice lacking a gene that influences the cellular "skeleton" become less susceptible to the intoxicating effects of alcohol. The animals consequently drink more ethanol than the average mouse, they reported. They further showed that the mutant animals' neurons became less sensitive to "remodeling" of the cytoskeleton that otherwise follows ethanol exposure.

In the second paper, a team of researchers led by Adrian Rothenfluh and Ulrike Heberlein at the University of California, San Francisco characterized flies that carried a mutation rendering them invulnerable to drunken behavior. They discovered that the ethanol-resistant flies failed to produce a regulatory protein underlying the sedative effects of alcohol. The lacking protein is one of three encoded by a single gene and is also suspected to influence the cytoskeleton of neurons, though indirectly.

"Most researchers in the alcohol field have focused on cell surface receptors--with little attention to the role of the cytoskeleton," said Ulrike Heberlein at UCSF, who is an author on both papers. "Now, these two papers have, through very different means, come to highlight a possible role of the actin cytoskeleton in behavioral responses to ethanol."

Cytoskeletal defects may have the ability to simultaneously change the dynamics of multiple receptors, she said. "These animals are tremendously resistant to alcohol. There seems to be something very central about the observed changes to their behavior."


Contact: Heidi Hardman
Cell Press

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Koshland Science Museum Program: Animals and their habitat
2. National Academies Advisory: April 10 Meeting on Distress in Lab Animals
3. Animals can change genes quickly to keep up with viral ingenuity
4. Animals warn of human health hazards in new Canary Database
5. Pets could be source of multiresistant bacteria infections in humans, MU researchers investigate
6. New way to target and kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria found
7. First all-African produced genetically engineered maize is resistant to maize streak virus
8. Malaria-resistant mosquitoes battle disease with molecular warhead
9. Wellcome Trust and GlaxoSmithKline announce partnership to target drug-resistant hospital infections
10. Arming the fight against resistant bacteria
11. Researchers uncover protection mechanism of radiation-resistant bacterium

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/18/2020)... ... April 17, 2020 , ... ... nano-beads to isolate minute bacterial particles that cause diseases. Using this new ... micro-particles such as those making up Ebola and coronaviruses. , Ke Du ...
(Date:4/14/2020)... NY (PRWEB) , ... April 14, 2020 , ... ... foam bedding and innovative home comfort technologies, announced today its planned donation of ... organizations in need of masks protect against the COVID-19 pandemic. , “At the ...
(Date:4/9/2020)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... April ... ... LLC, (“Red Nucleus” or “RN”), a premier provider of learning, performance, and ... (Pyxa), a research & development (R&D) focused software company offering process-enabled technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/21/2020)... Prairie, MN (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2020 , ... ... to help patients get dental implants and bone grafting through PIEZOSURGERY® technology. ... tissues. This is often used to prepare a patient for dental implants, especially when ...
(Date:5/15/2020)... ... May 14, 2020 , ... This new service offers ... the most pressing questions answered quickly as the need arises. Lachman’s OnCall SMEs have ... advice at affordable rates. , Lachman OnCall™ SMEs are available normal business hours ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... May 13, 2020 , ... ... simple reporter assays or phenotypic readouts, providing little or no information on the ... enable a more comprehensive characterization of compounds by measuring the activity of molecular ...
(Date:5/1/2020)... NEW YORK (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2020 ... ... Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that ... is a revolutionary bioprinter for living cells, which has taken out the top ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: