Cellular effects may explain why addicts often have a sweet tooth
A famous antidrug ad compares the brain on drugs to a frying egg. Now, a new study gives a broad look at how methamphetamine might scramble the entire body.
In one of the broadest surveys yet, U.S. researchers have illustrated the many genetic and cellular impacts of meth exposure in fruit flies. In addition to likely wreaking havoc on muscles and sperm, the drug seems to kick fly sugar metabolism into overdrive, the group reports online April 20 in PLoS ONE.
“One tends to think of methamphetamine as being a drug of abuse largely for fairly advanced organisms,” says Desmond Smith, a geneticist at UCLA who was not involved in this study. “It was quite nifty to try and look at what’s happening in the humble fly.”
Though flies and people are very different beasts, meth appears to tweak some of the same basic biochemical networks in both, says Barry Pittendrigh, a coauthor of the new report. And while the fruit fly Dros