alexa An Insight into the Cellular Mechanisms of Addiction to Psychostimulants
ISSN: 2167-1044

Journal of Depression and Anxiety
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Review Article

An Insight into the Cellular Mechanisms of Addiction to Psychostimulants

Ashim Kumar Basak1 and Tridip Chatterjee1,2*

1Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Genetic Engineering, 30 Thakurhat Road, Kolkata- 700128, West Bengal, India

2Department of Human Genetics, Institute of Genetic Medicine and Genomic Science, 30A Thakurhat Road, Kolkata-700128, West Bengal, India

*Corresponding Author:
Tridip Chatterjee
Department of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics
Institute of Genetic Engineering
Human Genetics, Medicine and Genomic Science
30A Thakurhat Road, Kolkata-700128
West Bengal, India
Tel: +91- 9831325280, +91- (033) 2526 0051/52/53
Fax: +91- (033) 2526 0060
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

Received date: May 06, 2016; Accepted date: June 24, 2016; Published date: June 27, 2016

Citation: Basak AK, Chatterjee T (2016) An Insight into the Cellular Mechanisms of Addiction to Psychostimulants. J Depress Anxiety 5: 238. doi:10.4200/2167- 1044.1000238

Copyright: © 2016 Basak AK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Natural rewards like food, sex etc are evaluated as pleasureable elements or essential for the survival of a mammal due to the interaction of dopamine (DA) released by ventral tegmental area (VTA) on nucleus accumbens (NAc) and other targets in an interconnected neuronal network in brain called ‘reward circuit. Psychostimulants induce prolonged and much greater interaction of DA with its targets and develop the drug related memory in lieu of the memories of natural rewards and induce motor activities required for drug acquisition. Long term potentiation (LTP), a major contributor of synaptic plasticity, occurs in many components of the reward circuit due to both acute and chronic drug exposures, resulting in the morphological changes of neurons that may underlie drug related memory acquisition. Potentiation may occur in VTA DA neurons, medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of NAc, prefrontal cortical (PFC) neurons etc. making the probability that glutamate release from PFC will be increased and VTA DA neurons and MSNs will more effectively interact with the released glutamate. The overall result is that ventral pallidum (VP), the main executor of motor behavior, will be disinhibited for initiating motor action via the inhibition of NAc. Finally a situation may arrive when merely a cue associated with the drug used can provoke a subject to seek drug possibly via gluamatergic action of potentiated PFC on NAc. Relapse of psychostimulant seeking behavior after a prolonged withdrawal is mediated by the potentiation of amygdala (Ag) and PFC also contributes to it.


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