Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Molecule May Be Basis For Drugs That Battle Overeating And Drug Dependency

Date:
May 17, 2004
Source:
University Of California - Irvine
Summary:
A new synthetic chemical may provide the framework for future drugs that can treat a variety of brain-based ailments, ranging from overeating and drug dependency to neuropathic pain.

Irvine, Calif., May 14, 2004 -- A new synthetic chemical may provide the framework for future drugs that can treat a variety of brain-based ailments, ranging from overeating and drug dependency to neuropathic pain.

Related Articles


Daniele Piomelli, professor of pharmacology at the UC Irvine College of Medicine, and colleagues at the University of Connecticut have created a molecule, AM1172, that regulates the processing of a neurotransmitter called anandamide. In tests on mice, Piomelli found AM1172 to be effective in increasing brain anandamide activity, in much the same way as the antidepressant drug Prozac increases activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

The study appears in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 10.

Anandamide is a natural marijuana-like compound that responds to hormones and external stimuli and activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This endocannabinoid system helps regulate pain, mood and appetite, along with dependence on drugs such as alcohol and marijuana. Because of this, anandamide is sometimes referred to as the "bliss" molecule.

According to Piomelli, AM1172 works by blocking anandamide degradation, boosting the actions of this natural transmitter without indiscriminately activating cannabinoid receptors in the brain, making it much more selective and effective at targeting specific receptors involved with specific behaviors.

"By understanding how this works at a biological level, we can begin to understand how anxiety and depression is connected with obesity and the dependence on substances such as marijuana," said Piomelli, who also studies how anandamide and other similar substances are involved in feeding and obesity. "By helping the body's own system give the brain a boost, compounds such as AM1172 might be able to counterbalance these feelings of anxiety and depression."

Piomelli's colleagues in the study included Darren Fegley and Satish Kathuria of UCI, and Richard Mercier, C. Li, Andreas Goutopolous and Alexandros Makriyannis of the University of Connecticut.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Irvine. "New Molecule May Be Basis For Drugs That Battle Overeating And Drug Dependency." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040517072118.htm>.
University Of California - Irvine. (2004, May 17). New Molecule May Be Basis For Drugs That Battle Overeating And Drug Dependency. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040517072118.htm
University Of California - Irvine. "New Molecule May Be Basis For Drugs That Battle Overeating And Drug Dependency." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040517072118.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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