Stress as a Risk Factor for Substance Use Disorders: A Mini-Review of Molecular Mediators.


:The extant literature supports the role of stress in enhancing the susceptibility of drug abuse progressing to a substance use disorder diagnosis. However, the molecular mediators by which stress enhances the progression from cocaine abuse to cocaine use disorder via the mesolimbic pathway remain elusive. In this mini-review article, we highlight three mechanisms by which glucocorticoids (GCs) and the dopaminergic system interact. First, GCs upregulate tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine (DA) synthesis. Second, GCs downregulate monoamine-oxidase (MAO), an enzyme responsible for DA removal. Lastly, GCs are hypothesized to decrease DA reuptake, subsequently increasing synaptic DA. Based on these interactions, we review preclinical literature highlighting how stress modulates the mesolimbic pathway, including the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAcs), to alter cocaine abuse-related effects. Taken together, stress enhances cocaine's abuse-related effects at multiple points along the VTA mesolimbic projection, and uniquely in the NAcs through a positive feedback type mechanism. Furthermore, we highlight future directions to elucidate the interaction between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and key intermediaries including ΔFosB, cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) and cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) to highlight possible mechanisms that underlie stress-induced acceleration of the progression to a cocaine use disorder diagnosis.


Front Behav Neurosci


Mukhara D,Banks ML,Neigh GN




Has Abstract


2018-12-21 00:00:00








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