Molecular mechanism for a gateway drug: epigenetic changes initiated by nicotine prime gene expression by cocaine.

@article{Levine2011MolecularMF,
  title={Molecular mechanism for a gateway drug: epigenetic changes initiated by nicotine prime gene expression by cocaine.},
  author={Amir A. Levine and Yanyou Huang and Bettina Drisaldi and Edmund A Griffin and D D Pollak and Shiqin Xu and Deqi Yin and Christine Schaffran and Denise B. Kandel and Eric R Kandel},
  journal={Science translational medicine},
  year={2011},
  volume={3 107},
  pages={
          107ra109
        }
}
In human populations, cigarettes and alcohol generally serve as gateway drugs, which people use first before progressing to marijuana, cocaine, or other illicit substances. To understand the biological basis of the gateway sequence of drug use, we developed an animal model in mice and used it to study the effects of nicotine on subsequent responses to cocaine. We found that pretreatment of mice with nicotine increased the response to cocaine, as assessed by addiction-related behaviors and… CONTINUE READING
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