Heroin vaccine works for lab rats

 

A new study by a team of researchers in California shows it is possible to vaccinate laboratory animals against the effects of heroin. The vaccine not only blunted the painkilling action of heroin, it also prevented rats from becoming addicted to the drug. It didn’t keep the animals from gaining pain relief from many other opiates, suggesting the vaccine targets just heroin and a few related compounds. The experiments at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, reported in the current edition of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, are the latest effort to bring the power of the immune system to bear against addictive substances. The next task is to see whether the vaccine prevents relapse in previously addicted and then detoxified rats.

Source: Reported in St.Petersburg Times July 28th 2011

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