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Yi Chuan. 2014 Jan;36(1):11-20.

[Alcohol dependence mediated by monoamine neurotransmitters in the central nervous system].

[Article in Chinese]

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Key Laboratory of Ministry of Health for Forensic Sciences, School of Medicine, Xi'an.
College of Food Engineering and Nutritional Science, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an.


Alcohol dependence, a chronic relapsing brain disease with the characteristics of drinking alcohol out of control, has become a serious social problem. Monoamine neurotransmitters, mainly including dopamine and 5-hydroxytryp┬Čtamine, play important roles in the occurrence, development and neural dysfunction of alcohol dependence syndrome. In this review, the roles of key factors of the monoamine system (dopamine receptor genes, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor genes, transporter genes, tyrosine hydroxylase gene, tryptophanhydroxylase gene and monoamine oxidase gene) in alcohol dependence were discussed, and strategies for further studies of molecular mechanisms were proposed based on gene knockout mice models generated in our laboratory. Then, combining with studies on tyrosine hydroxylase activator CaMKII in our lab, therapeutic targets were discussed. Besides, epigenetic strategies for prevention and treatment of alcohol dependence syndrome were proposed. Furthermore, manipulating methylation levels in gene regulatory regions and alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs might also have clinical implications. Finally, based on new findings on genetic polymorphism, it is of great potential to carry out individual prevention and treatment for patients suffering from alcohol dependence.

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