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Drug Addiction Linked To Epigenetics

People suffering from substance abuse develop strong associations between the drugs’ rewarding effects and environmental cues. There are differences in the brain structures of casual drug users and those that have progressed to addiction. Long-lasting associations form between the emotions and experiences of taking drugs for the addicted user. These reward associations can trigger powerful cravings and even lead to relapse in people who had already quit drugs. Treatments are needed to help reduce the number of patients who relapse into addiction to drugs, alcohol and other substances.

In a recent report, the mechanisms responsible for the rewarding effects and motivation to return to drugs after periods of abstinence were explored. Rodents were used to study the association between drug and environmental cues. HDAC5 was identified to be critically involved in preventing relapse and drug-seeking behavior. Furthermore, nuclear HDAC5 limits reinstatement of drug seeking independent of NPAS4, a key early onset gene. HDAC5 may also be regulating other genes that reduce the chance of drug abuse relapse. Further studies are needed to identify other genes involved in how the brain switches between early drug use and full addiction. The development of new treatments to help reduce the risk of relapse in patients with drug abuse could be possible. This could potentially help people suffering from other substance abuse disorders as well.

For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28957664

Enzo provides a wide variety of products for your Epigenetics research needs. We provide a complete toolbox for Epigenetics research from isolation and modification all the way to detection. For over a decade, the FLUOR DE LYS® deacetylase assay platform has freed researchers from cumbersome protocols for screening HDAC & Sirtuin activity. Our high-quality chemiluminescent, fluorescent, and colorimetric assays deliver more high-quality hits, and are backed by a broad panel of characterized proteins, inhibitors, and PTM-specific antibodies for ubiquitinylation, SUMOylation, methylation, acetylation, and phosphorylation.

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