Washington, Aug 11 (ANI): Scientists are exploring pharmacological strategies to treat cocaine abuse in animals.
The study may have implications for treating cocaine dependence in humans.
Glutamate, a brain neurotransmitter, has been implicated in drug addiction and is associated with learning and memory.
The receptors that regulate its transmission are considered to be promising targets for drug discovery, with therapeutic potential to treat various neurological and psychiatric disorders, including drug addiction.
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute tested differences in cocaine consumption in rats after receiving treatment with LY379268, an mGluR2/3 agonist, and MTEP, an mGluR5 antagonist.
They found that LY379268 became more effective, whereas MTEP lost its effect in cocaine dependent rats (long-access).
These data suggest that changes in the function of mGlu2 and mGlu5 receptors may play a role in the transition to cocaine addiction.
According to the authors, these new findings identify mGlu2/3 receptors as a particularly promising treatment target for severely cocaine-addicted individuals.
"This type of study highlights an aspect of the complexity that may be associated with the pharmacotherapy of treating cocaine dependence. All types of cocaine use may not be alike," comments Dr. John Krystal.
"The different profile of the effects of mGluR2/3 agonists and mGluR5 antagonists is interesting and it should stimulate further research," he added.
The study is published in Biological Psychiatry. (ANI)