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La dipendenza da droga è ereditaria?

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Alcuni ricercatori della Fudan University di Shanghai, hanno scoperto che alcuni comportamenti correlati alla dipendenza dalla cocaina sono cambiamenti nella struttura del Dna, che vengono ereditati: dei piccoli composti, chiamati gruppi metile, si legano infatti alla doppia elica e modificano l’espressione di alcuni geni.

Il gruppo, guidato da Lan Ma, ha separato i ratti maschi in base al loro livello di motivazione a cercare cocaina ed è emerso che i figli di quelli con un livello più alto presentavano lo stesso comportamento. Mentre quelli meno propensi a diventare dipendenti conferivano ai figli una specie di resistenza contro la tossicodipendenza.

I due gruppi di ratti si potevano distinguere anche in base alla posizione sul Dna dei gruppi metile e alcune di queste differenze erano ancora presenti nello sperma dei figli.

Le modificazioni sul Dna si riflettevano nel diverso funzionamento di alcune parti del cervello: i circuiti legati alla ricompensa e alla dipendenza che si trovano nel nucleus accumbens, un sistema di neuroni localizzato nello striato.

Fonte: Ansa

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