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Brain Res. 2015 Dec 2;1628(Pt A):50-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.09.069. Epub 2014 Oct 6.

Cocaine triggers epigenetic alterations in the corticostriatal circuit.

Author information

1
MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease Massachusetts General Hospital 114 16th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129-4404, USA. Electronic address: gsadrivakili@mgh.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Acute and repeated exposure to cocaine induces long-lasting alterations in neural networks that underlie compulsive drug seeking and taking. Cocaine exposure triggers complex adaptations in the brain that are mediated by dynamic patterns of gene expression that are translated into enduring changes. Recently, epigenetic modifications have been unveiled as critical mechanisms underlying addiction that contribute to drug-induced plasticity by regulating gene expression. These alterations are also now linked to the heritability of cocaine-induced phenotypes. This review focuses on how changes in the epigenome, such as altered DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs, regulate transcription of specific genes that contribute to cocaine addiction.

KEYWORDS:

Cocaine; DNA methylation; Epigenetics; Histone modifications; Micro RNA; Transgenerational inheritance

PMID:
25301690
PMCID:
PMC4387100
DOI:
10.1016/j.brainres.2014.09.069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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