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New target for treating alcoholism

Activating GPR139 in rats reduced excessive alcohol use and pain of withdrawal

Date:
June 25, 2018
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Activation of a receptor with no known function in the brain reduces excessive alcohol use and the pain of withdrawal, according to preclinical research in male rats. The study suggests a new approach towards the treatment of alcohol use disorder.
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Activation of a receptor with no known function in the brain reduces excessive alcohol use and the pain of withdrawal, according to preclinical research in male rats. The study, published in eNeuro, suggests a new approach towards the treatment of alcohol use disorder.

More than a third of approved pharmaceutical drugs target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). One receptor belonging to this family, GPR139, is highly expressed in the habenula -- a brain region with a critical role in addiction.

Olivier George and colleagues used a rat model of alcohol dependence and a substance that activates GPR139 to establish a previously unknown role for the receptor in addiction-like behavior. The researchers found that activation of GPR139 reduced alcohol intake and restored pain sensitivity thresholds only in alcohol-dependent mice that showed compulsive-like alcohol consumption akin to problematic drinking in humans.

This study is the first to establish an effect of GPR139 manipulation on behavior and encourages investigation of the receptor as a potential drug target in the development of medications for alcohol dependence.


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Materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jenni Kononoff, Marsida Kallupi, Adam Kimbrough, Dana Conlisk, Giordano de Guglielmo, Olivier George. Systemic and Intra-Habenular Activation of the Orphan G Protein-Coupled Receptor GPR139 Decreases Compulsive-like Alcohol Drinking and Hyperalgesia in Alcohol-Dependent Rats. eneuro, 2018; ENEURO.0153-18.2018 DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0153-18.2018

Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "New target for treating alcoholism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180625130945.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2018, June 25). New target for treating alcoholism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180625130945.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "New target for treating alcoholism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180625130945.htm (accessed March 1, 2024).

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