Epigenetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction
Drug-induced alterations in gene expression within the reward circuitry of the brain are thought to contribute importantly to the persistence of the drug-addicted state. Recent studies examining the molecular mechanisms by which repeated administration of drugs of abuse induces transcriptional changes have demonstrated a key role for chromatin remodeling and have directly related such chromatin regulation to the promulgation of addictive behaviors. In this review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of chromatin phenomena—which can be referred to as epigenetics—that contribute to drug addiction, with the goal that such mechanistic insights will aid in the development of novel therapeutics for future treatments of addiction.
KeywordsConditioned Place Preference HDAC Inhibition Behavioral Sensitivity Cocaine Administration Cocaine Exposure
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and contains portions of text taken with permission from Maze and Nestler (2011).
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