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Physiol Behav. 2012 Apr 12;106(1):58-64. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Nov 12.

Allostasis and addiction: role of the dopamine and corticotropin-releasing factor systems.

Author information

1
Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. ogeorge@scripps.edu

Abstract

Allostasis, originally conceptualized to explain persistent morbidity of arousal and autonomic function, is defined as the process of achieving stability through physiological or behavioral change. Two types of biological processes have been proposed to describe the mechanisms underlying allostasis in drug addiction, a within-system adaptation and a between-system adaptation. In the within-system process, the drug elicits an opposing, neutralizing reaction within the same system in which the drug elicits its primary and unconditioned reinforcing actions, while in the between-system process, different neurobiological systems that the one initially activated by the drug are recruited. In this review, we will focus our interest on alterations in the dopaminergic and corticotropin releasing factor systems as within-system and between-system neuroadaptations respectively, that underlie the opponent process to drugs of abuse. We hypothesize that repeated compromised activity in the dopaminergic system and sustained activation of the CRF-CRF1R system with withdrawal episodes may lead to an allostatic load contributing significantly to the transition to drug addiction.

PMID:
22108506
PMCID:
PMC3288230
DOI:
10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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