News-Medical.net - New Insight Into Basis Of Opiate Addiction

 – October 8, 2012  –– 

Chronic morphine exposure has the opposite effect on the brain compared to cocaine in mice, providing new insight into the basis of opiate addiction, according to Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers. They found that a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is increased in cocaine addiction, is inhibited in opioid addiction. "Our study shows that BDNF responds completely differently with opioid administration compared to cocaine," said Ja Wook Koo, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Morphine creates reward by inhibiting BDNF, whereas cocaine acts by enhancing BDNF activity." 
- Dr. Ja Wook Koo, Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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