NeuroMolecular Medicine

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 69–83 | Cite as

Neurotrophic mechanisms in drug addiction



The involvement of neurotrophic factors in neuronal survival and differentiation is well established. The more recent realization that these factors also play pivotal roles in the maintenance and activity-dependent remodeling of neuronal functioning in the adult brain has generated excitement in the neurosciences. Neurotrophic factors have been implicated in the modulation of synaptic transmission and in the mechanisms underlying learning and memory, mood disorders, and drug addiction. Here the evidence for the role of neurotrophins and other neurotrophic factors—and the signaling pathways they activate—in mediating long-term molecular, cellular, and behavioral adaptations associated with drug addiction is reviewed.

Index Entries

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Trk receptor nucleus accumbens ventral tegmental area cocaine, morphine 


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© Humana Press Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Center for Basic NeuroscienceThe University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallas

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