Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Front Physiol. 2018 Apr 24;9:327. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00327. eCollection 2018.

Mechanisms Underlying the Risk to Develop Drug Addiction, Insights From Studies in Drosophila melanogaster.

Author information

1
The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and The Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.

Abstract

The ability to adapt to environmental changes is an essential feature of biological systems, achieved in animals by a coordinated crosstalk between neuronal and hormonal programs that allow rapid and integrated organismal responses. Reward systems play a key role in mediating this adaptation by reinforcing behaviors that enhance immediate survival, such as eating or drinking, or those that ensure long-term survival, such as sexual behavior or caring for offspring. Drugs of abuse co-opt neuronal and molecular pathways that mediate natural rewards, which under certain circumstances can lead to addiction. Many factors can contribute to the transition from drug use to drug addiction, highlighting the need to discover mechanisms underlying the progression from initial drug use to drug addiction. Since similar responses to natural and drug rewards are present in very different animals, it is likely that the central systems that process reward stimuli originated early in evolution, and that common ancient biological principles and genes are involved in these processes. Thus, the neurobiology of natural and drug rewards can be studied using simpler model organisms that have their systems stripped of some of the immense complexity that exists in mammalian brains. In this paper we review studies in Drosophila melanogaster that model different aspects of natural and drug rewards, with an emphasis on how motivational states shape the value of the rewarding experience, as an entry point to understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the vulnerability of drug addiction.

KEYWORDS:

Drosophila melanogaster; addiction; animal models; drug reward; ethanol; learning and memory; natural reward; reward

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center