Regulation of chromatin states by drugs of abuse

Deena M. Walker, Hannah M. Cates, Elizabeth A. Heller, Eric J. Nestler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drug addiction involves long-term behavioral abnormalities and gene expression changes throughout the mesolimbic dopamine system. Epigenetic mechanisms establish/maintain alterations in gene expression in the brain, providing the impetus for investigations characterizing how epigenetic processes mediate the effects of drugs of abuse. This review focuses on evidence that epigenetic events, specifically histone modifications, regulate gene expression changes throughout the reward circuitry. Drugs of abuse induce changes in histone modifications throughout the reward circuitry by altering histone-modifying enzymes, manipulation of which reveals a role for histone modification in addiction-related behaviors. There is a complex interplay between these enzymes, resulting in a histone signature of the addicted phenotype. Insights gained from these studies are key to identifying novel targets for diagnosis and therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Volume30
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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