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 April 18, 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 April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Ten doctors signed a letter urging Columbia University to drop Dr. Oz as vice chair of its department of surgery, saying he plugs "quack" treatments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) 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