Jilted male flies too drown ’sorrow’ in alcoholMarch 16th, 2012 - 5:08 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, March 16 (IANS) Male fruit flies too drown their ’sorrow’ in excessive alcohol consumption, like humans, when females reject their sexual advances.
Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly’s brain called neuropeptide F governs this behaviour — as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies’ behaviour changes as well.
The new work may help shed light on the brain mechanisms that make social interaction rewarding for animals and those that underlie human addiction, the journal Science reports.
A similar human molecule, called neuropeptide Y, may likewise connect social triggers to behaviours like excessive drinking and drug abuse, according to a California statement.
Adjusting the levels of neuropeptide Y in people may alter their addictive behaviour — which is exactly what the UCSF team observed in the fruit flies.
“If neuropeptide Y turns out to be the transducer (linkage) between the state of the psyche and the drive to abuse alcohol and drugs, one could develop therapies to inhibit neuropeptide Y receptors,” said Ulrike Heberlein, professor of anatomy and neurology at UCSF, who led the research.
Clinical trials are underway, she added, to test whether delivery of neuropeptide Y can alleviate anxiety and other mood disorders as well as obesity.
- Even fruit flies are alcoholics - Dec 11, 2009
- Sex-deprived fruit flies use alcohol to cope - Mar 22, 2012
- 'Happy hour' gene may help boozers stay away from alcohol - May 22, 2009
- Fruit fly's response to starvation could help regulate human appetite - Apr 01, 2011
- Genes and brain centers that regulate meal size in flies identified - May 21, 2010
- Immune cells govern response to alcohol - Sep 30, 2011
- Inability to detect sarcasm, lies may be early sign of dementia - Apr 16, 2011
- A closer look into how addiction hijacks the brain - Feb 24, 2011
- Hunger sharpens sense of smell - Apr 01, 2011
- Addiction may be from brain disorder: New finding - Aug 15, 2011
- Mechanism behind addictions and some forms of obesity discovered - Oct 05, 2010
- Drinking alcohol over long period affects brain - May 06, 2010
- Why alcohol affects people in very different ways - May 19, 2010
- Alcohol can help brain to learn, remember better - Apr 13, 2011
- 'Hair of the dog' may help cure hangover, but increase alcohol dependency - May 06, 2010
Tags: addictive behaviour, alcohol and drugs, behaviour changes, brain mechanisms, california san francisco, excessive alcohol consumption, excessive drinking, journal science, linkage, male fruit, mood disorders, neuropeptide y, psyche, receptors, sexual advances, social interaction, tiny molecule, transducer, ucsf team, university of california san francisco