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:
TAG: Delving deeper into the machinery cocaine addiction

(Date:4/17/2014)... State University engineer has developed a patented technique ... explosive devices. The same technique could help police ... M. and Kay L. Theede chair in engineering ... and his research team have created a template-based ... car trunks. The distance detection method called ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Several parasites and pathogens that devastate honeybees in Europe, ... Africa, but do not appear to be impacting native ... team of researchers., The invasive pests include including ... East African honeybees appear to be resilient to these ... used to control pests in Europe, Asia and the ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Cell Press journal Current Biology on April ... sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct ... are the first example of an animal with sex-reversed ... in several different animals, Neotrogla is the ... reversed," says Kazunori Yoshizawa from Hokkaido University in Japan. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Patented research remotely detects nitrogen-rich explosives 2East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 2East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 3In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises 2
(Date:1/14/2014)... January 14, 2014 Date: Friday, April 11, ... Warrington Country Club, 1360 Almshouse Road, Warrington, Pa. ... organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B ... will host its annual Crystal Ball on Friday, April 11 ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 14, 2014 EquitiesIQ, a leading informational ... ALQA). Alliqua is an emerging biomedical company acquiring, developing, ... care market. , Free report download: http://equitiesiq.com/reports/alliqua/ ... seasoned management team and Board, which launched the company’s ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Jan. 14, 2014  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (OTCQX: RXII), ... commercializing innovative therapies addressing major unmet medical needs ... the Notice of Allowance from the United States ... RNAi compounds (sd-rxRNA®), for the treatment of fibrosis. ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... During the 1600’s through the 1800’s doctors contributed ... In this time period, doctors did not know that they ... the death of vulnerable patients. In the same way, medical ... be unwittingly transmitting herpes viruses to their patients. The CBCD ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Hepatitis B Foundation to Host Annual Crystal Ball Gala 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 3RXi Pharmaceuticals Receives US Notice of Allowance for a Key Patent Relating to its Self-Delivering Technology with sd-rxRNAs targeting CTGF, including RXI-109, for the Treatment of Fibrotic Disorders 2RXi Pharmaceuticals Receives US Notice of Allowance for a Key Patent Relating to its Self-Delivering Technology with sd-rxRNAs targeting CTGF, including RXI-109, for the Treatment of Fibrotic Disorders 3Study: Fatigued Medical Interns Infect Their Patients with Herpes Viruses; The CBCD Sees a Parallel with “The Doctor’s Plague” 2Study: Fatigued Medical Interns Infect Their Patients with Herpes Viruses; The CBCD Sees a Parallel with “The Doctor’s Plague” 3
Cached News: