Pharma Focus Asia

Novel Potential Target Discovered for Drug Addiction Treatment

A new potential target for treating drug addiction through astrocytes, which the researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School refer to ‘the hidden stars of the brain’, has been discovered.

They had investigated astrocyte calcium signaling in the brain. The study revealed that the behavioral effects of amphetamine could be decreased by targeting this signaling.

As per the researchers, astrocytes have traditionally been considered the ‘support cells’ of the brain and ignored in terms of actively contributing to brain function. However, the current study shows that astrocytes do contribute to information processing and in the functioning of organisms.

The scientists found that in mice, astrocytes respond to dopamine, a reward molecule, with increases in calcium in the nucleus accumbens, one of the major reward centers of the brain. This increase in calcium was related to the release of ATP/adenosine to modulate neural activity in the nucleus accumbens. Then, they looked specifically at amphetamine as it's known to increase dopamine and psychomotor activity in organisms.

They found that astrocytes respond to amphetamine with increases in calcium and when astrocyte activity was removed, the behavioral effect of amphetamine decreased in a mouse model.

These findings suggest that astrocytes contribute to amphetamine signaling, dopamine signaling, and overall reward signaling in the brain.

Because of this, astrocytes are a potentially novel cell type that can be specifically targeted to develop efficacious therapies for diseases with dysregulated dopamine.

The study was co-led by Michelle Corkrum, a third-year medical in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/Ph.D.) at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Ana Covelo, Ph.D., in the lab of Alfonso Araque, Ph.D., and in collaboration with Mark Thomas, Ph.D.

magazine-slider-imageMFA + MMA 2024CPHI Chine || PMEC China 2024Asia Healthcare Week 2024Advance DoE WorkshopNitrosamine Advance Workshop 2024CPHI Korea 2024CHEMICAL INDONESIA 2024INALAB 2024 Thermo Scientific - DynaDrive and DynaSpinDigital Health Asia 2024Rehab Expo 2024ISPE Singapore Affiliate Conference & Exhibition 20242024 PDA Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Quality Conference2024 PDA Cell and Gene Pharmaceutical Products Conference 2024 PDA Aseptic Manufacturing Excellence Conference2024 PDA Aseptic Processing of Biopharmaceuticals ConferencePharma Quality Excellence Awards 20244th Annual Pharma GMP Quality Management 20243rd World ADC Asia 2024LogiPharma Asia 2024