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:8/14/2019)... ... ... Dr. Julie Reck of Veterinary Medical Center of Fort Mill has recently begun ... patient, her own geriatric Australian Shepherd, Simon, was treated in June 2019 for osteoarthritis in ... his body was weak, and he struggled to play fetch and other games with his ...
(Date:8/6/2019)... ... August 06, 2019 , ... VetStem Biopharma has ... GMP manufacturing experience. In November it spun out a human regenerative medicine ... and one of the first cGMP cell manufacturing facilities in California , ...
(Date:8/6/2019)... ... August 06, 2019 , ... The demand for plant-based ... in particular quickly entered the limelight – meat alternatives. Yet, to make these ... emulsifying ingredient such as methyl cellulose. This ingredient is highly synthetic. Having a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 10, 2019 , ... Advancements ... an upcoming episode, scheduled to broadcast 4Q/2019. Check your local listings for more ... educate viewers about how its technology facilitates laboratories to improve efficiency and quality ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 11, 2019 , ... ... Clinic, a national leader in opioid treatment, announced today they are partnering to ... , Mytonomy recently deployed its virtual care platform at the Mayo Clinic to ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 11, 2019 , ... ... extracellular vesicles derived from human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-EV) are able to incorporate ... cloning ability. In a test on mice, MSC-EVs also increased the cells’ ability ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... ... For many years, the primary forms of cancer treatment have been chemotherapy, ... immuno-oncology have led to the advent of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T (CAR T) cell ... as “CARs”. The CAR enables the final product to produce chemicals in the hopes ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: