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Pharmacogenomics. 2012 Jul;13(10):1149-60. doi: 10.2217/pgs.12.94.

Epigenetics of drug abuse: predisposition or response.

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1
Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine & the Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, 2002 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA. nielsen@bcm.edu

Abstract

Drug addiction continues to be a serious medical and social problem. Vulnerability to develop an addiction to drugs is dependent on genetic, environmental, social and biological factors. In particular, the interactions of environmental and genetic factors indicate the significance of epigenetic mechanisms, which have been found to occur in response to illicit drug use or as underlying factors in chronic substance abuse and relapse. Epigenetics is defined as the heritable and possibly reversible modifications in gene expression that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence. This review discusses the various types of epigenetic modifications and their relevance to drug addiction to elucidate whether epigenetics is a predisposing factor, or a response to, developing an addiction to drugs of abuse.

PMID:
22909205
PMCID:
PMC3463407
DOI:
10.2217/pgs.12.94
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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