Mar 18, 2013
USA / Europe
Another study on addiction and its mechanisms, but this one focuses on cocaine which is the second most highly abused drug after alcohol, at least in the US (excluding weed). This new study shows that blocking the serotonin receptor 7 (5-HT7) blocked the cocaine abuse behavior. This would explain why cyproheptadine, which is sometimes administered to cocaine abusers who experience a serotonin syndrome, often completely stops their "addiction". Metergoline would probably be even better as it is a stronger antagonist at 5-HT7.
Perhaps even more importantly, this study also shows why cocaine is harmful in the long run, despite its short term stimulating effects - i.e. it is an agonist of 5-HT7.
While this specific study only discusses 5-HT7, the publishing lab has quite a few other publications (see first link below) all of which implicate serotonin and its various "receptors" in cocaine addiction. So, it is fair to say that serotonin as a whole drives cocaine abuse and lowering it with dietary or pharmacological means is therapeutic. Just as I mentioned in the alcohol addiction thread a few minutes ago, given that 90%+ of serotonin is produced in the gut, antibiotics and charcoal may be two easily accessible interventions that can curb cocaine abuse.

ASU labs fight addiction with drugs - The State Press

"...Neuroscience doctoral student Broc Pagni is examining one of these compounds, called MCRG19, and its effects on the serotonin-7 receptor. This research chemical is termed an antagonist, meaning that it binds to a receptor and blocks the action of any other compounds, such as cocaine, which may also bind to those receptors. Pagni’s study is striving to shed light on both this receptor and a novel compound, both of which may play a role in preventing cocaine addiction. “What we found is that the serotonin-7 antagonist decreases cocaine seeking behavior," Pagni said. "And this study is trending towards significance.""


Thread starter
Mar 18, 2013
USA / Europe
from what I have read, serotonin doesn't cross the BBB though...

thanks for the studies!

Good point, but high gut serotonin seems to affect brain function through the vagus nerve. Serotonin syndrome, which is characterized by high peripheral serotonin leads to delirium and other brain symptoms. I guess, lowering serum tryptophan would be the goal, for which aspirin and BCAA seem to help, as well as keeping lipolysis low as it increases the tryptophan/LNAA ratio.
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