Molecular neurobiology of addiction: what’s all the (Δ)FosB about?

  title={Molecular neurobiology of addiction: what’s all the ($\Delta$)FosB about?},
  author={James K Ruffle},
  journal={The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse},
  pages={428 - 437}
  • J. Ruffle
  • Published 24 October 2014
  • Biology
  • The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Abstract The transcription factor ΔFosB is upregulated in numerous brain regions following repeated drug exposure. This induction is likely to, at least in part, be responsible for the mechanisms underlying addiction, a disorder in which the regulation of gene expression is thought to be essential. In this review, we describe and discuss the proposed role of ΔFosB as well as the implications of recent findings. The expression of ΔFosB displays variability dependent on the administered substance… 
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A novel epigenetic pathway through which ΔFosB mediates distinct transcriptional programs that may ultimately alter behavioral plasticity to chronic amphetamine exposure is revealed.
DeltaFosB: a molecular switch for long-term adaptation in the brain.
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It is shown that ΔFosB expression increases the responsiveness of an animal to the rewarding and locomotor-activating effects of cocaine, which supports a model in which Δ FosB, by altering gene expression, enhances sensitivity to cocaine and may thereby contribute to cocaine addiction.
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It is demonstrated that ΔFosB is a relatively stable transcription factor, with a half-life of ∼10 h in cell culture, and that phosphorylation contributes to its stability, which is at the core of its ability to mediate long-lasting adaptations in brain.
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