Send to

Choose Destination
Front Mol Neurosci. 2018 Sep 10;11:322. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00322. eCollection 2018.

A DNA Methylation Signature of Addiction in T Cells and Its Reversal With DHEA Intervention.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.
Max Wertheimer Minerva Center for Cognitive Processes and Human Performance, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
Laboratory of Biological Psychiatry, Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Research Unit and Geha Mental Health Center, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Yehuda Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Bat Yam, Israel.
Department for the Treatment of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Israeli Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
The Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmidt) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.
Program for Epigenetics and Psychobiology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.


Previous studies in animal models of cocaine craving have delineated broad changes in DNA methylation profiles in the nucleus accumbens. A crucial factor for progress in behavioral and mental health epigenetics is the discovery of epigenetic markers in peripheral tissues. Several studies in primates and humans have associated differences in behavioral phenotypes with changes in DNA methylation in T cells and brain. Herein, we present a pilot study (n = 27) showing that the T cell DNA methylation profile differentiates persons with a substance use disorder from controls. Intervention with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), previously shown to have a long-term therapeutic effect on human addicts herein resulted in reversal of DNA methylation changes in genes related to pathways associated with the addictive state.


DNA methylation; dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA); drug abuse; drug-addiction; genome-wide analysis

Supplemental Content

Full text links

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