Scientists from Rockefeller University have identified a specific chemical changes in the depths of the brain, which help promote nicotine addiction, which can lead to the development of new treatments for this condition.
Nicotine is a stimulant that works by binding to receptors, widespread throughout the brain that leads to the development of neurons, many neurotransmitters, including dopamine, which causes feelings of pleasure. In search of brain cells that cause this response, experts have studied how nicotine affects two structures of the midbrain – interpeduncular the core and medial shell.
Working with mice, the scientists discovered that chronic consumption of nicotine changes the function of certain populations of neurons within interpeduncular kernel. These modified brain cells, which scientists call Amigo1, contribute to the development of nicotine addiction, breaking the link between interpeduncular core and medial shell. When the researchers reduced the activity of these neurons using the technique of genetic engineering, the rodents no longer suffer from nicotine addiction.