Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UT Southwestern Researchers Find Clue To Understanding Tolerance To Drugs Of Abuse

Date:
September 24, 2002
Source:
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and their colleagues have uncovered new information that will help brain researchers better understand a person's tolerance to drugs of abuse and open new avenues of investigation into the relationship of addictive-drug usage and the biological causes of mood disorders.

DALLAS – Sept. 23, 2002 – Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and their colleagues have uncovered new information that will help brain researchers better understand a person's tolerance to drugs of abuse and open new avenues of investigation into the relationship of addictive-drug usage and the biological causes of mood disorders. Dr. Michel Barrot, assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and lead author of the paper, said researchers used genetically altered mice to show that pain – both physiological and psychological – as well as pleasure can activate changes in the nucleus accumbens, the forebrain structure critical for reward and motivation processes. The findings appeared in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Senior author Dr. Eric Nestler, chairman of psychiatry at UT Southwestern, had previously established that drugs of abuse activate CREB, a specific binding protein known for playing a role in the plasticity and adaptation of nerves in the nucleus accumbens. This action between a drug and a binding site is involved with the learning processes and can affect the interaction between subject and environment.

Barrot worked with Nestler on the earlier research that laid the scientific basis for the study in Proceedings.

Researchers reported that they used viral-mediated gene transfer to deliver and overexpress CREB locally, thus mimicking the CREB hyperactivity seen after the delivery of drugs of abuse or exposure to stress. The mice were then tested for their sensitivity to rewards, such as morphine or sucrose, as well as for their sensitivity to anxiety-causing negative situations or painful stimuli.

"In the paper we show that inducing local CREB hyperactivity decreases the emotional response of an animal in different ways, including those that are rewarding, aversive, anxiety-provoking or hurtful," Barrot said. "On the other hand, a decrease in activity in the CREB site causes the opposite reaction. These data suggest the CREB activity in the shell of the nucleus accumbens controls the behavioral responses to emotional stimuli."

Barrot said the manipulation of the behavioral responses to the emotional stimuli "appears to be independent of either positive or negative intensity of the stimulus."

Nestler said, "This work supports the view that brain-reward regions important for addiction may also be involved in symptoms of depression and implicates the critical role of CREB in controlling the activity of these brain regions."

Researchers from Yale University, Harvard Medical School, the University of Washington in Seattle and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory contributed to the paper, published in the Aug. 20 issue of Proceedings. Other UT Southwestern researchers are Dr. Linda Perrotti, research fellow; Dr. Ralph J. DiLeone, assistant professor; Dr. Olivier Berton, research fellow; Dr. Amelia Eisch, assistant professor; and Dr. Venetia Zachariou, visiting professor, all in the Department of Psychiatry.

The research was supported by the Human Frontier Science Program, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "UT Southwestern Researchers Find Clue To Understanding Tolerance To Drugs Of Abuse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020924072035.htm>.
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (2002, September 24). UT Southwestern Researchers Find Clue To Understanding Tolerance To Drugs Of Abuse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020924072035.htm
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "UT Southwestern Researchers Find Clue To Understanding Tolerance To Drugs Of Abuse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020924072035.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) 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