Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NIDA Researchers Develop New Genetic Strain Of Mice To Study Nicotine Addiction

Date:
November 10, 2004
Source:
NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse
Summary:
A team of investigators supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, has created a strain of mice scientists can use to study nicotine addiction and its associated behaviors.

A team of investigators supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, has created a strain of mice scientists can use to study nicotine addiction and its associated behaviors. This research, led by Dr. Henry Lester of the California Institute of Technology, and his colleagues at the Institute of Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado, is published in the November 5, 2004 issue of the journal Science.

"Nicotine addiction is the largest cause of preventable mortality in the world, leading to more than 4 million smoking-related deaths annually," says NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "Recent findings also have shown that the act of smoking cigarettes can affect biochemical systems within multiple organs that are far removed from the lungs and upper airways. While we have a number of treatments that have proven effective for many people, clinicians do need more options."

This new strain of mice, created through a process in which the researchers altered only one amino acid through what they call "knock-in" technology, is exceptionally sensitive to nicotine. The scientists have shown that these mice display addiction-related behaviors, including reward, tolerance, and sensitization to the drug. Furthermore, they report, these actions are powerful and occur at remarkably low nicotine doses.

"Previous work in this area of nicotine addiction has focused on creating 'knock-out' mice, in which specific genes are removed from the animals, which then produce less dopamine in response to stimulation," says Dr. Lester. "But we thought that instead of eliminating the response to nicotine, we would accentuate it by making a hypersensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptor that would emphasize the pleasure pathway and allow us to study behaviors that play roles in nicotine abuse and addiction. Thus, we developed a 'knock-in' mouse."

Nicotine bears a molecular resemblance to the nerve chemical acetylcholine and this allows it to bind to receptors on nerve cells called the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The act of binding causes the cells on which the receptors reside to release dopamine, a chemical involved in the brain's pleasure/reward system.

"Studies like this are not only helping us to unravel the complexities of nicotine addiction, but they are providing innovative ideas and technologies that can be applied to other areas of drug abuse and addiction," says Dr. Volkow. "But, as with other drugs, our best treatment is prevention. We need to strengthen our programs designed to keep people from beginning to smoke."

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at http://www.drugabuse.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse. "NIDA Researchers Develop New Genetic Strain Of Mice To Study Nicotine Addiction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041109234856.htm>.
NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse. (2004, November 10). NIDA Researchers Develop New Genetic Strain Of Mice To Study Nicotine Addiction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041109234856.htm
NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse. "NIDA Researchers Develop New Genetic Strain Of Mice To Study Nicotine Addiction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041109234856.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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