JUN 03, 2020 8:41 PM PDT

A Drug That Deletes Cravings?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

No More Cravings?

Scientists at Duke University may have created a drug to hone cravings and possibly help with weight management. They specifically synthesized a molecule that ‘calms-down’ the physiological responses of cocaine in mice. The synthesized molecule, called SBI-553, activates cell surface chemical receptors known as G protein-coupled receptors or GPCRs. These receptors are the target of more than 35% of all FDA-approved drugs.

Learn more behind the science of cravings:

"This kind of idea has been kicking around for 20 years or so," adds senior author Marc Caron, whose work was based on GPCR signaling.

Researchers found that one specific GPCR known as ‘neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1)’ as a way to alter the actions of stimulant drugs.

Findings were published in the journal Cell and describes how mouse studies show that neurotensin is involved in drug-seeking behavior and food intake.

"It regulates the brain's reward system and motivated behavior," said senior post-doctoral fellow Lauren Slosky, who is the lead author on the paper. "The current findings suggest that the selective activation of the NTSR1 beta-arrestin response is sufficient to produce some of the anti-addiction effects attributed to the NTSR1, but not its effects on blood pressure and body temperature."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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