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Damage to the insular cortex can profoundly disrupt tobacco addiction in human smokers, reflected in spontaneous cessation of the tobacco habit and persistently decreased urge to smoke. Little is known concerning the neurobiological mechanisms through which the insula may control the maintenance of the tobacco habit. Emerging evidence suggests that(More)
Genetic variation in CHRNA5, the gene encoding the α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit, increases vulnerability to tobacco addiction and lung cancer, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here we report markedly increased nicotine intake in mice with a null mutation in Chrna5. This effect was 'rescued' in knockout mice by re-expressing α5(More)
Cocaine addiction is characterized by a gradual loss of control over drug use, but the molecular mechanisms regulating vulnerability to this process remain unclear. Here we report that microRNA-212 (miR-212) is upregulated in the dorsal striatum of rats with a history of extended access to cocaine. Striatal miR-212 decreases responsiveness to the(More)
Cocaine addiction is characterized by a gradual loss of control over drug use, but molecular mechanisms regulating vulnerability to this process remain unclear. Here we report that microRNA-212 (miR-212) is upregulated in the dorsal striatum of rats with a history of extended access to cocaine. Striatal miR-212 decreases responsiveness to the motivational(More)
Animals Male and female mice with null mutation of the α5 nAChR subunit gene Chrna5 (α5 knockout) and their wildtype littermates were bred in our animal facilities. Brain structure and baseline behavioral measures between the knockout mice and wildtype littermates have been previously characterized 1. The mutant mice have been bred for more than 10(More)
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