Vaccine against cocaine!
Mice vaccinated against cocaine show less agitated behavior when exposed to the drug
Antibodies generated by a new vaccine can capture molecules of cocaine in the precious few seconds that lapse before the drug reaches the brain, a study in mice shows. Although the antibody brigade doesn't snag all the cocaine, it seems to collar enough to greatly subdue the agitation that mice exhibit when given the drug.
Based on these findings, the researchers are moving on to studies in rats and monkeys in hopes of testing the vaccine in people. The new report will appear in the MarchMolecular Therapy.
â€œWhen someone takes cocaine whether snorted, smoked or injected you don't have much time,â€ says study coauthor Ronald Crystal, a pulmonary physician at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. â€œIt takes about six second to pass from the lungs to the blood to the brain.â€
A vaccine would need to elicit a standing army poised to intercede. â€œYou need avid antibodies, at high levels,â€ Crystal says.
In the new study, Crystal and his colleagues gave mice three injections over six weeks. Some of the animals received a placebo while the others got the experimental vaccine, which combines a cocainelike substance with noninfectious portions of an adenovirus that stimulate an immune response but don't cause disease. Four weeks later, all the mice were exposed to cocaine by injection.