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Addict Biol. 2005 Mar;10(1):101-18.

Microarray studies of psychostimulant-induced changes in gene expression.

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  • 1Laboratory of the Biology of Addictive Diseases, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA. yuferov@mail.rockefeller.edu


Alterations in the expression of multiple genes in many brain regions are likely to contribute to psychostimulant-induced behaviours. Microarray technology provides a powerful tool for the simultaneous interrogation of gene expression levels of a large number of genes. Several recent experimental studies, reviewed here, demonstrate the power, limitations and progress of microarray technology in the field of psychostimulant addiction. These studies vary in the paradigms of cocaine or amphetamine administration, drug doses, route and also mode of administration, duration of treatment, animal species, brain regions studied and time of tissue collection after final drug administration. The studies also utilize different microarray platforms and statistical techniques for analysis of differentially expressed genes. These variables influence substantially the results of these studies. It is clear that current microarray techniques cannot detect small changes reliably in gene expression of genes with low expression levels, including functionally significant changes in components of major neurotransmission systems such as glutamate, dopamine, opioid and GABA receptors, especially those that may occur after chronic drug administration or drug withdrawal. However, the microarray studies reviewed here showed cocaine- or amphetamine-induced alterations in the expression of numerous genes involved in the modulation of neuronal growth, cytoskeletal structures, synaptogenesis, signal transduction, apoptosis and cell metabolism. Application of laser capture microdissection and single-cell cDNA amplification may greatly enhance microarray studies of gene expression profiling. The combination of rapidly evolving microarray technology with established methods of neuroscience, molecular biology and genetics, as well as appropriate behavioural models of drug reinforcement, may provide a productive approach for delineating the neurobiological underpinnings of drug responses that lead to addiction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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