Modified mice get no kick from cocaine


Some mice have simple tastes. Those that lack a particular brain receptor for dopamine show no taste for cocaine, which mice and humans usually find addictive. Mouse brain cells usually carry five dopamine receptors, but mice modified to lack the one known as D1 do not self-administer cocaine. Normal mice, by contrast, will keep returning for more (The Journal of Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2284-07.2007). “To knock out a single receptor and eliminate cocaine’s abuse-related effects is surprising,” says Barak Caine of Harvard Medical School, who led the research. The implications for people are unclear,
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