Integrating behavioral and molecular approaches in mouse: Self-administration studies

Danielle L. Graham, David W Self

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Drug addiction is a serious mental illness involving severe motivational disturbances and a loss of behavioral control leading to personal devastation. The behavioral symptoms that accompany drug addiction can be modeled in rodents based on changes in their drug self-administration behavior. These symptoms include compulsive and escalating amounts of drug intake, along with a propensity for drug-seeking behavior in withdrawal, reflecting aberrations in the neural substrates that regulate these behaviors. Animal drug self-administration studies attempt to link neurobiological changes with the manifestation of specific behavioral symptoms. Since most changes in neuronal function stem from molecular “neuroadaptations” that occur in specific cell types in anatomically discrete brain regions, modern technological advances can be used to manipulate single gene targets with similar anatomical precision, and at postdevelopmental stages of adulthood, in order to mimic the neuroadaptations produced by chronic drug use. This approach is necessary to delineate important functional interactions that underlie the etiology of primary disease symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in the Neuroscience of Addiction
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781420007350
ISBN (Print)9780849373916
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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