Less addictive form of buprenorphine may help curb cocaine relapse

April 27, 2020

Bethesda, MD - The drug buprenorphine reduces relapse in patients with opioid addiction, and some emerging evidence indicates it may also help treat cocaine addiction. However, the treatment itself comes with a risk of addiction and, thus, is not FDA approved to treat cocaine addiction. New research performed in mice suggests that chemical modifications to buprenorphine can improve its effectiveness to treat cocaine addiction while minimizing abuse potential.

"Our research aims to balance the many different biological activities of buprenorphine to make it better at treating cocaine addiction," said researcher Keith Olson, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "We hope this work can eventually help treat addiction without the abuse potential of buprenorphine."

Dr. Olson was scheduled to present this research at the .

Buprenorphine has several biological targets, including the nociceptin receptors, which have been shown to be involved in reward and addiction to multiple drugs in animal models. The benefits of nociceptin activity are counteracted by buprenorphine's activity at mu opioid receptors involved in addiction to classical opiates. However, for buprenorphine the addiction effects are weaker than stronger opioids like heroin and methadone.

In the new work, the researchers used a mouse model of cocaine relapse to compare the effectiveness of buprenorphine and a related analog known as BU10119. They found that the new compound is better at activating the same nociceptin receptors as buprenorphine and worse at activating mu opioid receptors. These two differences corresponded to modest improvements in preventing cocaine relapse in the mouse model and minimized addiction potential, respectively.

"Our studies show that BU10119 is a promising lead for treating cocaine addiction," said Dr. Olson. "The new compound has better effectiveness and lower abuse potential compared to buprenorphine."

Next, the researchers plan to characterize BU10119 in more sophisticated animal models to better test its potential to treat addiction with reduced abuse potential.
-end-
Contact the media team for more information.

About Experimental Biology 2020
Experimental Biology is an annual meeting that attracts more than 12,000 scientists and exhibitors from five host societies and more than two dozen guest societies. With a mission to share the newest scientific concepts and research findings shaping clinical advances, the meeting offers an unparalleled opportunity for exchange among scientists from across the U.S. and the world who represent dozens of scientific areas, from laboratory to translational to clinical research.
http://www.experimentalbiology.org #expbio

About the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)
ASPET is a 5,000-member scientific society whose members conduct basic and clinical pharmacological research within the academic, industry and government sectors. Their members discover and develop new medicines and therapeutic agents that fight existing and emerging diseases, as well as increase our knowledge regarding how therapeutics affects humans. http://www.aspet.org

About The FASEB Journal
Receive monthly highlights from The FASEB Journal by e-mail. Sign up at http://www.faseb.org/fjupdate.aspx. The FASEB Journal is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is among the most cited biology journals worldwide according to the Institute for Scientific Information and has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century.

Find more press materials at: https://www.eurekalert.org/meetings/eb/2020/newsroom/

Experimental Biology

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.