Cross-talk between the epigenome and neural circuits in drug addiction

Philipp Mews, Erin S. Calipari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Drug addiction is a behavioral disorder characterized by dysregulated learning about drugs and associated cues that result in compulsive drug seeking and relapse. Learning about drug rewards and predictive cues is a complex process controlled by a computational network of neural connections interacting with transcriptional and molecular mechanisms within each cell to precisely guide behavior. The interplay between rapid, temporally specific neuronal activation, and longer-term changes in transcription is of critical importance in the expression of appropriate, or in the case of drug addiction, inappropriate behaviors. Thus, these factors and their interactions must be considered together, especially in the context of treatment. Understanding the complex interplay between epigenetic gene regulation and circuit connectivity will allow us to formulate novel therapies to normalize maladaptive reward behaviors, with a goal of modulating addictive behaviors, while leaving natural reward-associated behavior unaffected.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Brain Research
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123
ISSN (Electronic)1875-7855


  • Addiction
  • Circuits
  • Dopamine
  • Epigenetics
  • Reinforcement


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