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Secrets Of Addiction Revealed By Drug-Proof Zebrafish

By Phungushead, Aug 2, 2009 | | |
  1. Phungushead
    Secrets Of Addiction Revealed By Drug-Proof Zebrafish

    [IMGL="white"]http://blogs.nature.com/nm/spoonful/zebrafish.jpg[/IMGL]The effects of amphetamines on gene expression in zebrafish have been uncovered. This new study, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology, provides clues to the genetics that underlie susceptibility to addiction by describing the nad zebrafish mutant, which does not feel the rewarding effects of the drugs.

    Katharine Webb, from the German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München, worked with an international team of researchers to carry out the experiments. She said, "Addictive drugs all trigger a sequence of widespread long-lasting consequences on brain physiology, most of which are only partially understood. Because a major step in the development of addiction is the switch from drug use to drug abuse, we aimed to gain insight into the mechanisms triggering the initiation of addictive behaviour".

    The team used the mutagenic chemical ENU to generate hundreds of mutant zebrafish. From these, they bred a line that did not respond to amphetamine administration (despite the presence of the drug in the fish's brain) but that appeared to be normal in all other ways. As amphetamine is experienced as pleasurable, amphetamine response was determined by measuring whether fish chose to move to a half of the tank where the drug had been given out.

    By comparing these drug-proof nad mutants to fish with a normal response, Webb and her colleagues discovered a set of 139 genes that respond inappropriately to amphetamine in nad mutants, without being altered under normal conditions in either genotype. In addition to genes involved in pathways classically associated with reward, this gene set shows a striking enrichment in transcription factors that are specifically known for their involvement in brain development. Even more interestingly, as the authors demonstrate, several of these genes are expressed in neurogenic domains of the adult fish brain - these are domains where neurons are generated from neural stem cells during adulthood. According to the researchers, " These factors, which are also dramatically down-regulated by amphetamine, can serve as valuable new entry points into studying the link between adult neurogenesis and addiction".

    These results identify a new network of coordinated gene regulation that influences the response to amphetamine and may underlie the susceptibility to addiction.

    Notes:
    Zebrafish reward mutants reveal novel transcripts mediating the behavioral effects of amphetamine
    Katharine J Webb, William HJ Norton, Dietrich Trümbach, Annemarie H Meijer, Jovica Ninkovic, Stefanie Topp, Daniel Heck, Carsten Marr, Wolfgang Wurst, Fabian J Theis, Herman P Spaink and Laure Bally-Cuif
    Genome Biology (in press)
    http://genomebiology.com/

    Source:
    Graeme Baldwin
    BioMed Central

    01 August 2009

Comments

  1. missparkles
    It will be interesting to see where how info is used.
    Just chatting to Sparkles' mum about it and she wonders if once they find out how addiction affects people if they will develop a vaccine to combat it?
    She also pointed out that it would mean a loss of choice so that would be a negative aspect of any addiction research.
    Sparkles' mum is quite a canny lady.
    Honest she was talking to her mum.:thumbsup:

    Great article swi Phungushead.

    Sparkles.
  2. LostCelestial
    See now... a vaccine that prevents physical addiction, but not the ability to get high would be a pretty good idea in my opinion. Would seem to pave the way for people being able to get high if they want to without society being able to judge them.

    But drug-proofing people ? Noooooo....
  3. missparkles
    Would they develop a drug that enables people to get high without the addiction or a drug that prevents one getting high and getting addicted. Swim think it would be the second.
    If there's no high then there's nothing to become addicted to. But swim could have it totally wrong.:eek:

    Sparkles.:vibes:
  4. Alfa
    Could someone upload the study to the document archive and post it here?

    I wonder how many of these genes are really relevant. 139 genes seems to be a pretty diffuse way of pinpointing specific qualities. I would expect that 95% of these 139 genes are irrelevant???
  5. missparkles
    So less really could be more? ;)
  6. Phungushead
  7. missparkles
    Thanks treasure. :thumbsup:
    I'm sure someone will say if there's anything missing...trust me.;)

    Sparkles.
  8. Desertfox
    Yeah maybe they should quit diagnosing every child with ADD or ADHD and loading them with amphetamines and methyl phenidate their whole lives. Once they are adults and can't get prescriptions anymore they turn to illegal ways to treat their government made addiction. SWIM knows people at his college that take 60-80mg adderall on the daily, and they don't see anything wrong with it cause its a nice little blue pill given to them by their doctor, not some "dirty meth cooked in someone's kitchen", even though we all know a drug is a drug, and if its the same chemically, its the same drug.
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