Addiction researchers have paid increasing attention to the neurotransmitter glutamate in the past year or two. Now a Swiss-based team has found that mice lacking a glutamate receptor not previously considered significant in the past do not become dependent on cocaine.
Equally important, the mutant mice appear to be otherwise normal, retaining an interest in natural rewards such as food and water. This makes the receptor (mGluGR5), for which a human homolog is known to exist, a prime target for developers of anti-addiction drugs.
The finding, reported in the September