Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Steady relationships reduce amphetamine's rewarding effects, animal study suggests

Date:
May 31, 2011
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Long-term relationships make the commonly abused drug amphetamine less appealing, according to a new animal study. The findings suggest that social bonds formed during adulthood lead to changes in the brain that may protect against drug abuse.

Long-term relationships make the commonly abused drug amphetamine less appealing, according to a new animal study in the June 1 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings suggest that social bonds formed during adulthood lead to changes in the brain that may protect against drug abuse.

Prairie voles are rodents that form lifelong bonds with mating partners. In the new study, researchers directed by Zuoxin Wang, PhD, of Florida State University, found that male voles in established relationships displayed less interest in amphetamine compared with their single counterparts. Amphetamine exposure led to changes in the nucleus accumbens -- a part of the brain's reward system -- that differed depending on the relationship status of the voles.

Wang and his colleagues found brain cells of both paired and single voles released a similar amount of dopamine -- a brain chemical important in pleasurable activities like eating and sex -- in response to amphetamine. However, this released dopamine may have had differential effects in paired and single voles. Once released, dopamine binds to molecules called receptors on the surface of brain cells. Amphetamine use increased D1 receptor binding in the nucleus accumbens in single voles, but decreased it in paired voles, suggesting the single and paired voles had opposite responses to the drug.

Drugs that blocked dopamine from binding to the D1 receptor in the nucleus accumbens lessened amphetamine reward in single voles, while drugs that increased dopamine binding at this site appeared to make amphetamine more appealing to the paired voles.

"Our results indicate that the pair bonding experience may alter the neurobiological response to drugs of abuse, which in turn may diminish the rewarding effects of the drug itself," study author Wang said.

Earlier work in Wang's laboratory showed single voles sought out the rewarding effects of amphetamine and that repeated exposure to the drug threw off their drive to form lifelong partnerships. In the current study, the researchers explored whether relationships formed during adulthood could buffer against amphetamine's rewarding properties.

"While this study is very interesting, it will be important to determine whether pair-bonded voles would be less likely to work for drugs of abuse if given unlimited access," said Larry Young, PhD, an expert in social behavior at Emory University, who was unaffiliated with the study. "Understanding the neurobiology of how social bonds protect against the rewarding aspects of drug abuse may ultimately inform novel therapies for addiction."

The research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health.


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. "Steady relationships reduce amphetamine's rewarding effects, animal study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531180946.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2011, May 31). Steady relationships reduce amphetamine's rewarding effects, animal study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531180946.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Steady relationships reduce amphetamine's rewarding effects, animal study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531180946.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
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
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. 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