Washington, April 24 ANI | 8 months ago

Researchers have developed a novel compound that targets an important brain receptor has a dramatic effect against a host of cocaine addiction behaviors, including relapse behavior.

In the study, the compound, RO5263397, severely blunted a broad range of cocaine addiction behaviors.

Jun-Xu Li, MD, PhD, senior author and assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said that their research shows that trace amine associated receptor 1 - TAAR 1 - holds great promise as a novel drug target for the development of novel medications for cocaine addiction.

TAAR 1 is a novel receptor in the brain that is activated by minute amounts of brain chemicals called trace amines.

Li said as TAAR 1 anatomically and neurochemically is closely related to dopamine - one of the key molecules in the brain that contributes to cocaine addiction - and is thought to be a 'brake' on dopamine activity, drugs that stimulate TAAR 1 may be able to counteract cocaine addiction.

The UB research tested this hypothesis by using a newly developed TAAR 1 agonist RO5263397, a drug that stimulates TAAR 1 receptors, in animal models of human cocaine abuse.

In the UB study, RO5263397 dramatically blocked cocaine's rewarding effects.

The compound also markedly blunted cocaine relapse in the animals.

The studyresearch has been published online in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

(Posted on 24-04-2014)

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