CEXS-UPF: A study relates nicotine addiction with the cannabis receptor

CEXS-UPF: A study relates nicotine addiction with the cannabis receptor

News from UPF

A study relates nicotine addiction with cannabis receptor

Looking into nicotine addiction, for the first time, a cannabinoid protein, a type CB2 receptor, has been identified. This receptor could become a new therapeutic target for the treatment of this dependence. The work was published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

The experimental study has been done in an animal model and has been coordinated by the Neurosciences Institute, a joint center of the University Miguel Hernandez and CSIC. Rafael Maldonado, head of Neuropharmacology Laboratory and Elena Martín-García, researcher of his research group at the Department of Experimental Sciences and Health (CEXS) of the UPF, together with researchers from the Department of Psychobiology at the University of Valencia collaborated in this study.

The identification of a new receptor which is able to reduce tobacco dependence could be an effective tool for the treatment of this widespread addiction among the population. "The ability to act on the cannabinoid receptor has the advantage to get medications without the psychoactive effects of cannabis" Maldonado said. "So you could avoid undesirable effects, which so far have been the limiting factor in the therapeutic use of cannabinoids,"added the co-author of the work.

More information:
UPF press release (in Catalan) 

Francisco Navarrete, Marta Rodríguez-Arias, Elena Martín-García, Daniela Navarro, María S. García-Gutiérrez, María A. Aguilar, Auxiliadora Aracil-Fernández, Pere Berbel, José Miñarro, Rafael Maldonado i Jorge Manzanares, (2013), "Role of CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors in the Rewarding, Reinforcing, and Physical Effects of Nicotine", Neuropsychopharmacology; doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.157