Researchers have developed a vaccine that successfully blocked the addictive effects of nicotine in lab mice, a development which bodes well for the development of a similar vaccine to aid in smoking cessation for humans.
The report, published in Science Translational Medicine on June 27, reported how scientists injected mice with a harmless virus encoded with genetic instructions for cells to create anti-nicotine antibodies.
In reaction, the mice's liver begin producing antibodies which consumed nicotine as soon as it enters the blood stream, mitigating its narcotic effects, including feeling of pleasure and addiction.
"It's sort of like having Pac-Man floating around in the blood. [The antibodies] bind to the nicotine and prevent it from reaching its receptors in the brain," said Ronald G. Crystal, one of the study's co-authors.
The team of researchers is now preparing to test the vaccine in rats and primates. Should those tests yield positive results, they would then begin preparing human trials.
by RTT Staff Writer
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