Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

OHSU Scientists Discover Mice Lacking Dopamine Receptor Are Supersensitive To Alcohol, Cocaine And Methamphetamine

Date:
September 23, 1997
Source:
Oregon Health Sciences University
Summary:
Scientists at Oregon Health Sciences University have discovered that mice lacking a certain brain cell receptor for the chemical messenger dopamine are supersensitive to alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Scientists at Oregon Health Sciences University have discovered that mice lacking a certain brain cell receptor for the chemical messenger dopamine are supersensitive to alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine. Their findings appear in the September 19, 1997, issue of the journal Cell and detail the increased locomotor activity of mice who lack the D4 receptor.

"Branching nerve cells communicate with each other by secreting chemical messengers like dopamine that bind to receptors on neighboring nerve cells in a lock-and-key fashion," explains, David Grandy, Ph.D., OHSU scientist and senior author of the article. "Dopamine is one of the primary chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, and plays numerous complex roles in both movement and emotional states. Disturbances in the dopamine system are known to be associated with human disorders such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and addiction. Dopamine producing neurons continue to be the focus of research because of their widespread importance in regulating complex locomotor, emotional and motivational states."

Grandy further explains that dopamine producing neurons are involved in mediating some of the positive reinforcing properties shared by drugs of abuse such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine and opiates.

"We examined mice that were genetically engineered to lack the D4 dopamine receptor to investigate the role of this receptor in mediating the effects of various drugs," says Grandy. "We discovered that mice given either alcohol, cocaine or methamphetamine displayed a dramatic increase in locomotor activity compared to normal mice. Prior to their treatment with these drugs, the mutant mice tended to be less active than normal mice. Following treatment their activity level increased greatly compared to normal mice.

"Based on the observation that mice lacking the D4 receptor show a supersensitivity to certain drugs of abuse, we speculate that the D4 receptor is implicated in modulating the effects of such drugs," says Grandy. "Consequently, the D4 receptor may be a new target for the treatment of drug abuse."

Grandy explains that humans show a wide variability in the gene that encodes the D4 receptor, and there are reports that some forms of the D4 gene may predispose an individual to drug taking and novelty seeking behaviors. The D4 receptor has been the focus of intense interest since its discovery in 1990 because of its high affinity for the antipsychotic drug clozapine, which is used to treat schizophrenia. Recently, several new D4-selective drugs that are similar to clozapine have been developed and are currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of schizophrenia. In addition to shedding light on the role that the D4 receptor plays in an organism*s response to drugs like alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine, the new research reported by Grandy and his colleagues underscores the relevance of this receptor to antipsychotic drug development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health Sciences University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health Sciences University. "OHSU Scientists Discover Mice Lacking Dopamine Receptor Are Supersensitive To Alcohol, Cocaine And Methamphetamine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970923034045.htm>.
Oregon Health Sciences University. (1997, September 23). OHSU Scientists Discover Mice Lacking Dopamine Receptor Are Supersensitive To Alcohol, Cocaine And Methamphetamine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970923034045.htm
Oregon Health Sciences University. "OHSU Scientists Discover Mice Lacking Dopamine Receptor Are Supersensitive To Alcohol, Cocaine And Methamphetamine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970923034045.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins