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A novel target for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.

Dr. de Guglielmo from the George lab published a new study in collaboration with the Palmer lab (UCSD) that provide robust preclinical evidence that a novel compound called pBBG is more effective in reducing alcohol intake in dependent rats than in nondependent rats.

Previous studies showed that the glyoxalase 1 (Glo1) gene modulates anxiety-like behavior, seizure susceptibility, depression-like behavior, and alcohol drinking in the drinking-in-the-dark paradigm in nondependent mice. Administration of the small-molecule GLO1 inhibitor S-bromobenzylglutathione cyclopentyl diester (pBBG) decreased alcohol drinking in nondependent mice, suggesting a possible therapeutic strategy. However, the preclinical therapeutic efficacy of pBBG in animal models of alcohol dependence remains to be demonstrated. We tested the effect of pBBG (7.5 and 25 mg/kg) on operant alcohol self-administration in alcohol-dependent and nondependent rats. Wistar rats were trained to self-administer 10% alcohol (v/v) and made dependent by chronic intermittent passive exposure to alcohol vapor for 5 weeks. Pretreatment with pBBG dose-dependently reduced alcohol self-administration in both nondependent and dependent animals, without affecting water self-administration. pBBG treatment was more effective in dependent rats than in nondependent rats. These data extend previous findings that implicated Glo1 in alcohol drinking in nondependent mice by showing even more profound effects in alcohol-dependent rats. These results suggest that the pharmacological inhibition of GLO1 is a relevant therapeutic target for the treatment of alcohol use disorders.

Inhibition of Glyoxalase 1 reduces alcohol self-administration in dependent and nondependent rats.

de Guglielmo G, Conlisk DE, Barkley-Levenson AM, Palmer AA, George O.

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