, Volume 131, Issue 6, pp 959-975,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Feb 2012

Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study drug addiction


Animal studies have been instrumental in providing knowledge about the molecular and neural mechanisms underlying drug addiction. Recently, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable system to model not only the acute stimulating and sedating effects of drugs but also their more complex rewarding properties. In this review, we describe the advantages of using the fly to study drug-related behavior, provide a brief overview of the behavioral assays used, and review the molecular mechanisms and neural circuits underlying drug-induced behavior in flies. Many of these mechanisms have been validated in mammals, suggesting that the fly is a useful model to understand the mechanisms underlying addiction.

K.R. Kaun and A.V. Devineni contributed equally to this work.