Vaccine Could Prevent Nicotine Addiction

Test on mice shows antibodies can block nicotine's access to brain
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2012 11:47 AM CDT
Vaccine Could Prevent Nicotine Addiction
One shot might be able to prevent nicotine addiction.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A new study has given fresh hopes that a one-shot vaccine could inoculate a person against nicotine addiction. Cornell researchers injected mice with a gene for a nicotine antibody, and watched as those antibodies managed to prevent more than 80% of all nicotine from reaching their brains, the Wall Street Journal reports. The gene was injected into their livers, which acted as a factory by pumping out a steady stream of the antibodies.

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The vaccine will need to undergo more testing on mice before making the leap to humans. "This is a new strategy that may work," the study's senior author said. "We won't know until [we] do the human studies, but it is a very difficult problem and we need new strategies." But don't get your hopes up too high; two past attempts at a nicotine vaccine have failed when tried on humans. (Read more cigarettes stories.)

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