Histone-mediated epigenetics in addiction

Leah N. Hitchcock, K. Matthew Lattal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


Many of the brain regions, neurotransmitter systems, and behavioral changes that occur after occasional drug use in healthy subjects and after chronic drug abuse in addicted patients are well characterized. An emerging literature suggests that epigenetic processes, those processes that regulate the accessibility of DNA to regulatory proteins within the nucleus, are keys to how addiction develops and how it may be treated. Investigations of the regulation of chromatin, the organizational system of DNA, by histone modification are leading to a new understanding of the cellular and behavioral alterations that occur after drug use. We will describe how, when, and where histone tails are modified and how some of the most recognized histone regulation patterns are involved in the cycle of addiction, including initial and chronic drug intake, withdrawal, abstinence, and relapse. Finally, we consider how an approach that targets histone modifications may promote successful treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameProgress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
ISSN (Print)1877-1173
ISSN (Electronic)1878-0814

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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