Washington: Researchers at Johns Hopkins have unravelled the molecular foundations of cocaine`s effects on the brain, and identified a compound that blocks cravings for the drug in cocaine-addicted mice.The compound, already proven safe for humans, is undergoing further animal testing in preparation for possible clinical trials in cocaine addicts, the researchers said."It was remarkably serendipitous that when we learned which brain pathway cocaine acts on, we already knew of a compound, CGP3466B, that blocks that specific pathway," Solomon Snyder, M.D., a professor of neuroscience in the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said."Not only did CGP3466B help confirm the details of cocaine`s action, but it also may become the first drug approved to treat cocaine addiction," he said.In the most recent study, M.D./Ph.D. student Risheng Xu worked with other members of Snyder`s team to investigate whether cocaine works through the NO signaling network, and if so, how.Using mice, they found that cocaine induces NO to react with GAPDH so that GAPDH moves into the nucleus.
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