Neurobiological mechanisms of opioid dependence and withdrawal: implications for addiction  Add To Calendar

Speaker: Elena Chartoff, Harvard University
Host: M. Roitman
  • Date(s): Thursday, 9/14 4:00 PM to Thursday, 9/14 5:00 PM
  • Campus Address: 4289 SEL, 840 West Taylor St.
The overarching research question in my lab is understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying withdrawal-induced negative affective states and their contribution to drug addiction. Dependence is a hallmark feature of opioid addiction and is defined by the emergence of somatic and affective withdrawal signs.  The nucleus accumbens—a critical substrate for motivated behavior—integrates dopaminergic and glutamatergic inputs to mediate rewarding and aversive properties of opioids. Data will be presented demonstrating that morphine dependence and withdrawal are associated with alterations in nucleus accumbens cAMP- and AMPA receptor-mediated signaling that are necessary for expression of withdrawal-induced negative affective states. The implications of these mechanisms for driving addiction to the prescription opioid oxycodone will be discussed.