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Cell Biology of Addiction

Subject Area(s):  Cognition and BehaviorDevelopmental BiologyCell BiologyGeneticsNeurobiology

Edited by Bertha K. Madras, Harvard Medical School; Christine M. Colvis, National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH; Jonathan D. Pollock, National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH; Joni L. Rutter, National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH; David Shurtleff, National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH; Mark von Zastrow, University of California, San Francisco

© 2006 • 465 pp., illus., appendices, index
Hardcover •
ISBN  978-087969753-2

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  •     Description    
  •     Contents    
  •     Reviews    


This monograph, written by experts in the field, is devoted to the molecular analysis of addiction pathways in the brain. It provides an intensive overview of the fundamentals, state–of–the–art advances, and major gaps in the cell and molecular biology of drug addiction within the broader context of neuroscience. Addiction research is a branch of neuroscience and psychology. The emphasis in this book is on hard science and the market for it will be found among research investigators and grad students within the field of neuroscience. The research presented is not only applicable to the study of drug abuse and addiction, but has clear implications for clarifying mechanisms of learning and memory, neuroadaptation, perception, volitional behavior, motivation, reward, and other disciplines of neuroscience.


1. Introduction, B.K. Madras

2. Addiction Genetics and Genomics, G.R.Uhl
3. Catechol–O–methyltransferase Genotype, Intermediate Phenotype, and Psychiatric Disorders, K. Xu and D. Goldman
4. Identifying Genes Affecting Addiction Risk in Animal Models, J.C. Crabbe
5. Endorphins, Gene Polymorphisms, Stress Responsivity, and Special Addictions: Selected Topics, M.J. Kreek
6. Imaging the Addicted Brain, N.D. Volkow, G.–J. Wang, J.S. Fowler, and R.Z. Goldstein
7. Neurotoxin Effects of Drug of Abuse: Imaging and Mechanisms, D.F. Wong

8. Development of Midbrain Dopaminergic Pathways, M. Cooper and R. Zhou

9. Transporter Structure and Function, G. Rudnick
10. Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and Nicotine Dependence, A.R. Tapper, R. Nashmi, and H.A. Lester
11. Opioids as a Model for Cell Biological Studies of Addictive Drug Action, M. von Zastrow and C.J. Evans
12. Receptor–receptor Interactions Modulate Opioid Receptor Function, I. Gomes and L.A. Devi
13. The Endocannabinoid System: From Cell Biology to Therapy, D. Piomelli
14. Cocaine Neurobiology: From Targets to Treatment, B.K. Madras and Z. Lin
15. The Oligomerization of G–protein–coupled Receptors, M.M.C. Kong, B.F. O'Dowd, and S.R. George
16. The Critical Role of Adenosine A2a Receptors and Gi Βγ Subunits in Alcoholism and Addiction: From Cell Biology to Behavior, I. Diamond and L. Yao
17. Neurotransmitter Transporters: Mechanisms and Function, R. Edwards

18. Synaptic Vesicle Trafficking and Drug Addiction in Synapsin Triple Knockout Mice, D. Gitler, J. Feng, Y. Takagishi, V.M. Pogorelov, R.M. Rodriguiz, B.J. Venton, P.E.M. Phillips, Y. Ren, H.–T. Kao, M. Wightman, P. Greengard, W.C. Wetsel, and G.J. Augustine
19. Synaptic Plasticity in the Mesolimbic Dopamine System and Addiction, D. Saal and R.C. Malenka
20. Long–term Memory Storage in Aplysia, J.H. Schwartz
21. Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Addiction, E.J. Nestler

22. Dynamic Analyses of Neural Representations Using the State–space Modeling Paradigm, E.N. Brown and R. Barbieri
23. Quantitative Functional Genomics and Proteomics of Drug Abuse, W.M. Freeman and K.E. Vrana



review:  “Cell Biology of Addiction, a groundbreaking and comprehensive book, describes exquisite and rigorous scientific inquiry into the molecular and cellular underpinnings of addiction, examining, as Bertha K. Madras states in the introduction, ‘genetic influences, biological targets of drugs, neurotoxicity, and the signaling pathways that trigger neuroadaptive processes to drive or contribute to compulsive and uncontrollable drug use, withdrawal, craving, and relapse.’ The chapters are based on a course designed by leaders in the field to teach this subject at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to the next generation of neuroscientists, who now have the opportunity to unravel the powerful forces that propel the addicted patient and consequently overwhelm today's society in so many ways....

Readers of this exciting book will find it satisfying on two levels—the scientific and the symbolic. Scientifically, it is indeed gratifying that so much of what we have learned about the functioning of the brain has been derived from attempts to elucidate the mechanistic underpinnings of addiction. And symbolically, we have reason for optimism because of the many basic neuroscientists who are devoting themselves to the challenge of understanding a disorder that affects so many.”
      —The New England Journal of Medicine

review:  “This book has evolved from a course presented at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory over the period 2001-2005. It claims to provide readers with an intensive overview of the fundamentals, state-of-the-art advances and major gaps in the cell and molecular biology of drug addiction within the broader context of neuroscience. Overall, it fulfills these claims.

To summarise, this book provides a very good overview for PhD students and those just entering the field. The established expert will also glean useful information, given the diversity of topics covered which are generally presented in a highly readable fashion.”
      —British Neuroscience Association Bulletin