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Essay: Epigenetic modifications and cellular mechanisms in the nucleus accumbens induced by chronic cocaine administration

Nijboer, L. (2014) Essay: Epigenetic modifications and cellular mechanisms in the nucleus accumbens induced by chronic cocaine administration. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Addiction is a large worldwide problem that occurs to many people and suffers their daily life. Most people will find that it can be very difficult to get out of the addictive state. The danger of developing an addiction to drugs, such as cocaine, is that tolerance is build. This leads to the fact that more and more of the substance is required to obtain the desired effect and eventually this desire is fully lost and replaced with a large craving for the drug, which is then taken simply to feel normal again. There are many therapies available nowadays, but it is still a large struggle towards succeeding. A recent interest is found in epigenetic modifications induced by drugs. It appears that chronic administration of a drug leads to modifications in the epigenetic pathways in the nucleus accumbens which plays a big role as a reward centre. Many studies are performed, focussing on different kinds of epigenetic modifications and transcription factors and their target genes that are involved. It appears that chronic use of cocaine induced modifications in epigenetic pathways that lead to an altered gene transcription. This can be through acetylation of histones (H3 and H4), activation or repressive methylation of histones (H3K9, H3S10) or altered activity of non-coding RNA. This article will give an overview of the basis of addiction and cocaine-induced epigenetic modifications in the nucleus accumbens according to recent studies.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:58
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:58
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/12112

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