mTORC2 Controls Actin Polymerization Required for Consolidation of Long-Term Memory.

mTORC2 controls actin polymerization required for consolidation of long-term memory.

Nat Neurosci. 2013 Mar 3;
Huang W, Zhu PJ, Zhang S, Zhou H, Stoica L, Galiano M, Krnjevi? K, Roman G, Costa-Mattioli M

A major goal of biomedical research is the identification of molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie memory storage. Here we report a previously unknown signaling pathway that is necessary for the conversion from short- to long-term memory. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 2 (mTORC2), which contains the regulatory protein Rictor (rapamycin-insensitive companion of mTOR), was discovered only recently and little is known about its function. We found that conditional deletion of Rictor in the postnatal murine forebrain greatly reduced mTORC2 activity and selectively impaired both long-term memory (LTM) and the late phase of hippocampal long-term potentiation (L-LTP). We also found a comparable impairment of LTM in dTORC2-deficient flies, highlighting the evolutionary conservation of this pathway. Actin polymerization was reduced in the hippocampus of mTORC2-deficient mice and its restoration rescued both L-LTP and LTM. Moreover, a compound that promoted mTORC2 activity converted early LTP into late LTP and enhanced LTM. Thus, mTORC2 could be a therapeutic target for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction. HubMed – addiction


Exploring the use of the survivorship consult in providing survivorship care.

Support Care Cancer. 2013 Mar 2;
Wiljer D, Urowitz S, Jones J, Kornblum A, Secord S, Catton P

PURPOSE: Advances in breast cancer treatment have increased survival and contributed to longer periods of survivorship as reported by the Committee CCSsS (Canadian Cancer Statistics) (2011) and Hewitt et al. (2005), increasing the relevance of survivorship care. Survivorship care includes encouraging survivors to acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their life, as well as engaging survivors through post-diagnosis disease self-management and self-care strategies. The Survivorship Consult (SC) was designed to help survivors reflect on their needs, establish goals and create an action plan. METHODS: Twenty-six breast cancer survivors who participated in the SC at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre took part in semi-structured interviews to assess the survivor experience and effectiveness of the SC. Data from these interviews were coded, and themes were identified using a modified grounded theory approach. RESULTS: Themes that emerged regarding the experience and effectiveness of the SC included (1) the supportive experience of collaborative dialogue with supportive care clinicians (i.e. nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, etc.), (2) the development of personalized goals that motivated individuals to implement recommendations, (3) an enhanced understanding of their health condition, team and options, (4) an improved ability to identify needs and (5) an increased sense of confidence to manage issues related to care. CONCLUSIONS: The assessment of the SC improved the experience of breast cancer patients by providing a supportive environment where they could feel cared about, by increasing understanding of their condition and its treatment, by improving communication with the care team and by motivating patients to manage care issues. Further research is needed on survivors who conduct the SC before the treatment phase of their cancer trajectory. HubMed – addiction


Withania somnifera prevents acquisition and expression of morphine-elicited conditioned place preference.

Behav Pharmacol. 2013 Apr; 24(2): 133-143
Ruiu S, Longoni R, Spina L, Orrù A, Cottiglia F, Collu M, Kasture S, Acquas E

Previous studies have reported that some of the central effects of morphine are counteracted by the administration of the methanolic extract of the root of Indian ginseng, Withania somnifera Dunal (WSE). The present study sought to determine whether WSE affects acquisition and expression of morphine-elicited conditioned place preference (CPP) in CD-1 mice. In CPP acquisition experiments, WSE (0, 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg) was administered, during conditioning, 30 min before morphine (10 mg/kg), whereas in expression experiments, WSE (0, 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg) was administered 30 min before the postconditioning test. The results demonstrate (i) that WSE was devoid of motivational properties; (ii) that WSE (100 mg/kg) was devoid of effects on spontaneous and morphine-stimulated motor activity and on spatial memory; and (iii) that WSE (50 and 100 mg/kg) significantly prevented the acquisition and expression of CPP. Further, to characterize the receptor(s) involved in these effects, we studied, by receptor-binding assay, the affinity of WSE for µ-opioid and ?-aminobutyric acid B receptors. These experiments revealed a higher affinity of WSE for ?-aminobutyric acid B than for µ-opioid receptors. Overall, these results point to WSE as an interesting alternative tool, worthy of further investigation, to study opiate addiction. HubMed – addiction


Does the exposure to smoking cues in movies affect adolescents’ immediate smoking behavior?

Addict Behav. 2013 Feb 4; 38(5): 2203-2206
Lochbuehler K, Kleinjan M, Engels RC

INTRODUCTION: Various studies have demonstrated that environmental smoking cues elicit smoking-related responses in smokers. However, cue reactivity studies among adolescent smokers are scarce. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effect of smoking portrayal in movies on immediate smoking behavior in adolescent smokers. METHOD: A total of 65 adolescent daily smokers (between the ages of 16 and 18years) were exposed to a one-hour movie clip, with or without smoking characters, and were allowed to smoke while watching the movie. RESULTS: The exposure to smoking cues in movies had no effect on immediate smoking behavior. This association was not affected by several smoking- and movie-related variables. CONCLUSIONS: No influence of smoking cues in movies on immediate smoking behavior in adolescent daily smokers was found. More experimental research on the effects of environmental cues on adolescent smokers in different stages of addiction is needed. HubMed – addiction