Monday, November 07, 2011
Booze and our brains.
Wu et al. find in experiments on mice that a receptor on immune cells (TLR4) that controls expression of genes related to the inflammatory response to pathogens is involved in alcohol-induced sedation and impaired motor activity. If the receptor’s action is blocked either by a drug (naloxone) or by the receptor’s genetic removal, the effects of alcohol are reduced. This suggests that drugs specifically targeting the TLR4 receptor might be useful in treating alcohol dependence and acute overdoses.