Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotic That Appears To Control Phobias May Also Be Useful In Treating Addiction

Date:
November 7, 2007
Source:
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists now provide further evidence that a drug known as D-cycloserine could play a role in helping to extinguish the craving behaviors associated with drug addiction. Their study found that mice treated with D-cycloserine were less likely to spend time in an environment where they had previously been trained to expect cocaine than mice treated with a placebo.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory provide further evidence that a drug known as D-cycloserine could play a role in helping to extinguish the craving behaviors associated with drug addiction. Their study found that mice treated with D-cycloserine were less likely to spend time in an environment where they had previously been trained to expect cocaine than mice treated with a placebo.

"Since the association between drugs and the places where they are used can trigger craving and/or relapse in humans, a medication that could aid in the reduction or even extinction of such responses could be a powerful tool in the treatment of addiction," said Carlos Bermeo, a Stony Brook University graduate student working under the direction of Brookhaven Lab neuroscientist Panayotis (Peter) Thanos. Bermeo will present these results in a talk at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego on Tuesday, November 6, 2007, at 11 a.m.

D-cycloserine was originally developed as an antibiotic. But it has also been shown to extinguish conditioned fear in pre-clinical (animal) studies, and has been successfully tested in human clinical trials for the treatment of acrophobia (fear of heights). This finding led several researchers to wonder whether D-cycloserine could extinguish drug-seeking behaviors as well.

In 2006, a group of scientists not affiliated with Brookhaven Lab tested this hypothesis in rats. They found that D-cycloserine facilitated the extinction of "cocaine conditioned place preference" - the tendency for the animals to spend more time in a chamber where they had been trained to expect cocaine than in a chamber where they had no access to the drug.

The Brookhaven study builds on the previous work and adds information on the drug dose effect, the lasting properties of the treatment, and the locomotor effects of this compound.

Bermeo and Thanos' group worked with C57bL/c mice. Animals were first trained to receive cocaine in a particular environment. Once conditioned place preference was established (that is, animals willingly spent more time in a cocaine-paired environment than in a "neutral" environment), the mice were treated with either D-cycloserine or saline and allowed to spend forty minutes in either the previously cocaine-paired environment (with the drug no longer available) or the neutral environment.

"This paradigm would be analogous to a clinical approach where the addict is returned to the environment that previously was the place of drug use (e.g., the neighborhood or home), but this time with no drug available," said Thanos. "Reduced seeking of the drug in the same environment - that is extinction behavior - is a great indicator of future success in treatment and reduced chance of relapse," he added.

Mice treated with D-cycloserine showed less preference for the cocaine-paired environment and did this more rapidly than mice treated with saline. The low dose (15 milligrams D-cycloserine per kilogram of body weight, given intraperitonially) showed a 10 percent decrease in time spent in the previously cocaine-paired environment, and the high dose (30 mg/kg i.p.) showed a 17 percent decrease in the time spent in the previously cocaine-paired environment. The high dose produced a more pronounced and consistent extinction than the lower dose.

Interestingly, animals treated with the high dose of D-cycloserine exhibited lower locomotor activity compared to both the low-dose D-cycloserine group and the saline-treated animals. These two groups exhibited similar levels of locomotor activity. This indicates that dosing may have to be fine tuned to achieve optimal efficacy with minimum side effects.

"It's important to remember that these are very preliminary results from a small animal study," Thanos cautions. "Much further research will be required before testing this drug in humans. But it is inspiring to know that this drug may show promise in treating cocaine addiction, which continues to take a toll on society and for which no pharmacological treatment currently exists."

This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institute of Health (NIH), and by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Antibiotic That Appears To Control Phobias May Also Be Useful In Treating Addiction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106141554.htm>.
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. (2007, November 7). Antibiotic That Appears To Control Phobias May Also Be Useful In Treating Addiction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106141554.htm
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Antibiotic That Appears To Control Phobias May Also Be Useful In Treating Addiction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106141554.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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