Scientists have found a way to block nicotine addiction
New York researchers have solved an important piece of the puzzle that is nicotine addiction. They have identified a group of brain cells that are particularly sensitive to nicotine. With this discovery, new treatments for tobacco addiction may be developed.
Nicotine is a stimulant that ry works by binding to receptors widely distributed in m zgu, causing neurons to release a variety of neurotransmitters including dopamine, which hich induces feelings of pleasure. On top of that, it is one of the most addictive substances known to mankind. This is also indicated by data on the number of os b cigarette smokers.
The problem was addressed by researchers at Rockefeller University. They focused on dw ch areas of the m zg located in the medial dm zgow, about kt mice are known to be involved in drug addiction in and from which mice are bound by nicotine after it enters the bloodstream and penetrates the m zgu.
The research, published recently in „Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” indicate chemical changes in m zgu, which re promote nicotine addiction. The article describes the Also experiments in which rych scientists were able to stop these changes in mice, which could result in new, effective treatments for tobacco addiction.
During studies on Jessica L mice. Ables, the first author of the study, discovered that long-term nicotine exposure alters the function of a specific population of neurons in some part of the m zgu – intercalary nucleus. These altered com rks, workingly named Amigo1, appear to promote nicotine addiction, the plant ccording to the communication between the individual lnymi regions m zgu.
Mice, which re participated in the experiments drank nicotine-infused water for six weeks. The researchers observed that the com rks of Amigo1 released two chemicals in rodents, which re reduced the natural ability of m zgu to reduce the pleasure effect after nicotine consumption. The result of the action of these dw ch substances is a pro-addictive response to nicotine.
– If you are exposed to nicotine for a prolonged period of time, you produce more substances of the plant cating the signal, which deprives you of sensitivity – said Ines Ibanez-Tallon of Rockefeller University. Thus, if we know the way b, in which our m zg respond to nicotine, we can develop effective therapies to reduce addiction.
To test whether Amigo1 neurons are really addictive agents, the team ł began to manipulate the expression of one of the genes encoding nicotinic receptors in these com rks. They then prepared a test. The nicotine-naive mice were allowed to choose the room in which they rym wants to stay. To choose had a room in which in which they received water with nicotine and others previously unavailable to mice.
This behavioral technique is called conditioned place preference. It assesses the animal’s preference for an environment associated with a particular stimulus. Often used in addiction testing.
The result of the test was unequivocal. Mice that rych Amigo1 neurons were silenced, they showed no preference for being in a cage, in which the rej previously received water with nicotine. But their addicted mates kept returning to the cage for more nicotine water.
Of course, mice are not humans. However, we share similar structures with them in the m zgu. Scientists say we can learn a lot from these studies about nicotine addiction in humans as well. Perhaps the work of Rockefeller University researchers will produce effective therapies to free people from addiction.
Source source: Rockefeller University , PNAS , pic. CC0 Public Domain/MaxPixel