HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Delving deeper into the machinery of cocaine addiction

Researchers are now understanding in greater detail the molecular machinery underlying the short-term brain changes that produce the high of cocaine, as well as the longer-term changes behind addiction. Their findings offer hope for targeted drugs that can short-circuit that addiction machinery.

In the October 20, 2005, issue of Neuron, researchers led by Eric J. Nestler and Arvind Kumar of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have pinpointed a key molecular mechanism by which genes are switched on in the brain that govern both short-term and long-term effects of cocaine. Such activation is called transcriptional activation because it induces the gene to begin making copies of itself into messenger RNA that trigger protein production.

In their experiments, the researchers studied a process called "chromatin remodeling"--in which the histone proteins enfolding genes are chemically altered to render the genes active. They administered to rats both short-term, acute cocaine doses and long-term, chronic cocaine and analyzed the alteration of the histones affecting specific genes involved in cocaine response in the brain.

In their studies, they used an analytical technique called "chromatin immunoprecipitation assays" to measure the effects of cocaine on histone proteins. This technique, they emphasized, makes it possible "to study such transcriptional mechanisms in the brain in vivo and understand, with increasing complexity, how chronic cocaine administration leads to the long-term regulation of its target genes."

The researchers found that giving the rats acute doses of cocaine induced histone modifications that activated a gene called cFos, which is an important regulator of many other genes. However, this gene was desensitized by chronic cocaine.

In contrast, they found, histone modifications activated two other genes, BDNF and Cdk5, only during chronic cocaine administration. Their findings, they wrote, "direct
'"/>

Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
19-Oct-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Nanoparticles carry chemotherapy drug deeper into solid tumors
2. Dig deeper to find Martian life
3. Climate models need deeper roots, scientists say
4. Not finding life? Dig deeper.
5. Gene-transcription machinery seen poised for action, held in check until needed
6. Biologists probe the machinery of cellular protein factories
7. Dissecting the machinery of nicotines reward
8. Reactive oxygen species shown essential for development of inner ears balance machinery
9. Clearing jams in copy machinery
10. Gambling monkeys give insight into neural machinery of risk
11. Immune cells genetic jam session is controlled by cell division machinery

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


(Date:1/6/2017)... 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., announced that it ... of a novel calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel ... Acute pancreatitis, sudden painful inflammation of ... can be very serious.  In severe cases it can ... hospital stays, time in the ICU and substantial ...
(Date:1/4/2017)... VEGAS , Jan. 4, 2017  CES ... performance biometric sensor technology, today announced the launch ... sensor systems, the highly-accurate biometric sensor modules ... biometric technology, experience and expertise. The two ... Benchmark designed specifically for hearables, and Benchmark BW2.0, ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... Dec. 20, 2016 The rising popularity ... and leasing is stoking significant interest in keyless ... technology, Bluetooth low energy (BLE), biometrics and near-field ... next wave of wireless technologies in the automotive ... to advanced access systems opens the market to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... ... announced today the next evolution in spinal fusion, the MISquito Percutaneous Pedicle ... to the competition, SpineFrontier is focused on technique driven product solutions that ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. and HOUSTON ... Prenatal Inc. ("NX Prenatal") today announced the formation ... brings together leading clinicians and industry veterans who ... the company as it accelerates development of its ... positioned to provide medical, clinical and strategic guidance ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... January ... ... provider of advanced software solutions for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), today ... expertise in omic data analysis and interpretation for the rapidly evolving field ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 19, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., today announced ... Ph.D., as chief executive officer, as well as ... brings to ArmaGen more than 17 years of ... development of biotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals. ... diverse experience and skillset necessary to lead ArmaGen ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: