Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Compound Blocks Alcoholism in Animals

Date:
March 8, 2007
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
A study of alcohol-dependent animals shows that a newly discovered compound that blocks chemical signals active during the brain's response to stress effectively stops excessive drinking and prevents relapse.

A study of alcohol-dependent animals shows that a newly discovered compound that blocks chemical signals active during the brain's response to stress effectively stops excessive drinking and prevents relapse.

The new, synthetic compound, known as MTIP, also muted the anxiety that typically develops in rats experiencing the equivalent of a hangover. Such stress is linked with higher levels of a brain chemical called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), which is also thought to trigger relapse in rats that have developed a long-term dependency on alcohol. The research, by Markus Heilig, MD, PhD, at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and his team, appears in the March 7 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

"This study shows the activity of a compound that potentially could be used in human subjects," says George Koob, PhD, of the Scripps Research Institute. "It moves the field over another translational barrier, closer to the day when the dark side of addiction is treated."

The new findings build on previous work showing the effectiveness of blocking certain CRF receptors--proteins that bind CRF and make it active--in treating alcohol dependence in animals. CRF levels in the brain rise in the short term after drinking; in subjects that are not dependent, this activation returns to normal within a day or so. The new study shows that the CRF system becomes overactive in the long term in animals with a history of alcohol dependence, increasing the risk for relapse.

Heilig and his team showed that MTIP blocked the activity of CRF in stressful situations without affecting its activity under ordinary circumstances. They studied rats that had been put through several cycles of heavy alcohol consumption and withdrawal to create dependency, as well as animals selectively bred to consume more alcohol. Injections of MTIP prevented excessive drinking of alcohol in both cases and eliminated the rats' susceptibility to relapse under stress. Yet the compound did not affect their native curiosity or lower levels of drinking alcohol in rats that were not alcohol-dependent.

In addition to alcoholism, the compound may prove to be useful in the treatment of depression or anxiety disorders, in which CRF levels can be especially high.

The compound or similar molecules can be given orally, reach the brain in sufficient amounts to block more than 90 percent of certain brain CRF receptors, and do not accumulate in other organs, most importantly the liver, in ways that would cause concerns about potential side effects, says Heilig.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "New Compound Blocks Alcoholism in Animals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075548.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2007, March 8). New Compound Blocks Alcoholism in Animals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075548.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "New Compound Blocks Alcoholism in Animals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075548.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. 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