Report

Requirement of Circadian Genes for Cocaine Sensitization in Drosophila

Science  13 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5430, pp. 1066-1068
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5430.1066

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Abstract

The circadian clock consists of a feedback loop in which clock genes are rhythmically expressed, giving rise to cycling levels of RNA and proteins. Four of the five circadian genes identified to date influence responsiveness to freebase cocaine in the fruit fly,Drosophila melanogaster. Sensitization to repeated cocaine exposures, a phenomenon also seen in humans and animal models and associated with enhanced drug craving, is eliminated in flies mutant for period, clock, cycle, anddoubletime, but not in flies lacking the genetimeless. Flies that do not sensitize owing to lack of these genes do not show the induction of tyrosine decarboxylase normally seen after cocaine exposure. These findings indicate unexpected roles for these genes in regulating cocaine sensitization and indicate that they function as regulators of tyrosine decarboxylase.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jh6u{at}virginia.edu

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