Researchers from America and China discovered a small group of interconnected neurons that are most sensitive to the effects of nicotine. Scientists suggest that at a constant exposure of nicotine these cells contribute to the development of dependence. The results of the study will help in the development of new methods of dealing with tobacco addiction.
The scientists examined two areas located in the midbrain: the leash epithalamus and interpeduncular nucleus. Earlier studies have linked disruption of these brain regions with the development of chemical dependence and, in particular, with elevated levels of anxiety when trying to quit Smoking.
Normally, these areas of the brain are able to control sensations from the effects of nicotine. When one-time interaction with matter leash epithalamus sends “a signal of disgust” in the interpeduncular nucleus, and the pleasant effect of nicotine is reduced. This mechanism protects the brain against the development of addiction.
The researchers conducted an experiment on laboratory rats. The animals received a solution of nicotine in water for six weeks by the end of this period they have developed a marked dependence on the substance. After that, scientists found changes in the interpeduncular nucleus of the brain of rodents.
Changes have occurred in one of the groups of neurons associated with protein α5 — one subunits that make up the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. A group of neurons, called α5-Epyc, remained the same. At the same time, a group of cells, called α5-Amigo1, attracted the attention of scientists. After six weeks of constant interaction with nicotine these neurons were isolated neurotransmitters, choke “signal of disgust.”
In the next phase of the experiment, the scientists “turned off” the part dependent rats one of the genes associated with the release of neurotransmitters in the group of neurons of α5-Amigo1. This measure saved from the tendency of rodents to nicotine. Back in the room to the other, still dependent rats, animals with “turned off” the gene ceased to show interest in the place where they had received nicotine solution. The artificial changes in the group α5-Epyc had this effect.
Recall that constant exposure to tobacco smoke in the room increases the likelihood of arrhythmia and premature death.
As reported by the portal “Znayu” doctors offered to treat nicotine dependence using protein that strengthens the willpower.
Also “Znayu” he wrote that cigarette Smoking may lead to cognitive disorders in children and grandchildren.