Monday, July 2, 2012

A Nicotine Vaccine Shows Promise

A novel vaccine protected mice against nicotine addiction over their lifetime, Ron Crystal, M.D., chair of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and his colleagues reported in the June 27 Science Translational Medicine. The vaccine was designed to use the liver as a factory to continuously produce antibodies that destroy nicotine the moment it enters the bloodstream, keeping the chemical from reaching the brain and having a biological effect.

Crystal and his colleagues have also designed a vaccine they hope will be able to prevent cocaine addiction. Cocaine is bonded to an inactivated cold virus so that when the immune system encounters the virus, it will produce antibodies not just to the virus, but to the cocaine. The vaccine was found to keep cocaine from entering the brains of mice. Read more information about this research in Psychiatric News.

(Image: Lia Koltyrina/


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