Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How the brain puts the brakes on negative impact of cocaine

Date:
January 18, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
New research provides fascinating insight into a newly discovered brain mechanism that limits the rewarding impact of cocaine. The study describes protective delayed mechanism that turns off the genes that support the development of addiction-related behaviors. The findings may lead to a better understanding of vulnerability to addiction and as well as new strategies for treatment.

Research published by Cell Press in the January 12 issue of the journal Neuron provides fascinating insight into a newly discovered brain mechanism that limits the rewarding impact of cocaine. The study describes protective delayed mechanism that turns off the genes that support the development of addiction-related behaviors. The findings may lead to a better understanding of vulnerability to addiction and as well as new strategies for treatment.

Drug addiction is associated with persistent and abnormal changes in the reward circuitry of the brain, and drug-induced changes in gene expression are thought to contribute to addiction behaviors. Recent research with rodent models of addiction has implicated histone deacetylases (HDACs), which are modulators of gene expression, in the regulation of cocaine-induced behaviors. However, how cocaine regulates the function of HDACs and whether this regulation can modify addiction-related behaviors was not known.

"HDAC5 in the nucleus accumbens, a key brain region involved in drug abuse, limits the rewarding impact of cocaine and the long-lasting memory of places where the drug was taken, particularly after prior cocaine exposure," explains senior study author Dr. Christopher W. Cowan from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "However, it was not clear whether this was a passive role for HDAC5 or whether drugs of abuse might regulate its function after drug exposure." In the current study, Dr. Cowan and colleagues explored how cocaine might regulate HDAC5 and the development of drug reward-associated behaviors.

Using a rodent model, the researchers discovered that cocaine triggered a novel signaling pathway that caused HDAC5 to move to the cell nucleus, where gene expression occurs, and they found that this process was essential for HDAC5 to limit the development of cocaine reward-associated behaviors. "Our findings reveal a new molecular mechanism by which cocaine regulates HDAC5 function to antagonize the rewarding impact of cocaine, likely by putting a brake on drug-stimulated genes that would normally support drug-induced behavioral changes," concludes Dr. Cowan. "Deficits in this process may contribute to the development of maladaptive behaviors associated with addiction following repeated drug use in humans and may help to explain why some people are more vulnerable to addiction than others."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Makoto Taniguchi, MariaB. Carreira, LauraN. Smith, BenjaminC. Zirlin, RachaelL. Neve, ChristopherW. Cowan. Histone Deacetylase 5 Limits Cocaine Reward through cAMP-Induced Nuclear Import. Neuron, 2012; 73 (1): 108 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.10.032

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "How the brain puts the brakes on negative impact of cocaine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111133512.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, January 18). How the brain puts the brakes on negative impact of cocaine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111133512.htm
Cell Press. "How the brain puts the brakes on negative impact of cocaine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111133512.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) Researchers found commonly prescribed sleeping and anxiety pills such as Xanax and Valium could lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. 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