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GIBH scientists explore the mechanism of opioids to regulate mice memory

Chronic or repetitive administration of addictive drugs, like morphine, alcohol or nicotine, affect many functions of central nerve system, such as decreasing the efficiencies of adult neurogenesis and the abilities for learning and memory. Since, adult neurogenesis is the only way for mature central nerve system to recruit new neurons, and has close connections with many neuronal functions. Thus, understanding the mechanisms of addictive drugs to affect adult neurogenesis and learning and memory may provide valuable information for related fields.


Dr. Zheng and his group in GIBH cooperated with the group in Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota and found that addictive drug, like morphine a wildly used opioid analgesia, could affect the activities of one important transcriptional factor, NeuroD1, in mice hippocampal subgranular zone via multiple signaling pathways or factors such as ERK pathway, CaMKII pathway, Yin Yang 1, miR-190, which subsequently affect adult neurogenesis. On the other hand, the group also demonstrated that chronic administration of morphine decreased the abilities of mice for learning and memory by influencing the adult neurogenesis. The results has been published in Neuropsychopharmacology in Apr, 2013 (38, 770–777; doi:10.1038/npp.2012.242; published online 16 January 2013).


The research was supported by the “National Natural Science Foundation of China (31100773)”, the “Guangzhou International Science and Technology Cooperation Projects from Bureau of Science and Information Technology of Guangzhou Municipal Government (2012J5100007)”, the “Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (S2012010010087)”.



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