The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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  • Our People

    The IRP is served by the best and brightest in the scientific community. Find out more about the scientists striving to solve the puzzles of drug addiction and its effects on the human brain.

    More About Our Scientists

  • Our Research

    The research of the Intramural Research Program is supported at the molecular, genetic, cellular, animal, and clinical levels and is conceptually integrated, highly innovative, and focused on major problems in the field of drug addiction research.

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  • Our Organization

    Intramural Research Program (IRP) of the National Institute on Drug Abuse is dedicated to innovative research on basic mechanisms that underlie drug abuse and dependence, and to develop new methods for the treatment of drug abuse and dependence.

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Reviews to Read

Stress-Induced Reinstatement of Drug Seeking: 20 Years of Progress

John R Mantsch, David A Baker, Douglas Funk, Anh D Lę, and Yavin Shaham

In human addicts, drug relapse and craving are often provoked by stress. Since 1995, this clinical scenario has been studied using a rat model of stress-induced reinstatement of drug seeking. Here, we first discuss the generality of stress-induced reinstatement to different drugs of abuse, different stressors, and different behavioral procedures. We also discuss neuropharmacological mechanisms, and brain areas and circuits controlling stress-induced reinstatement of drug seeking. We conclude by discussing results from translational human laboratory studies and clinical trials that were inspired by results from rat studies on stress-induced reinstatement....

Read the full review at PubMed.

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Reviews to Read

Human cell adhesion molecules: annotated functional subtypes and overrepresentation of addiction-associated genes.

Xiaoming Zhong, Jana Drgonova, Chuan-Yun Li, and George R. Uhl

Human cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are essential for proper development, modulation, and maintenance of interactions between cells and cell-to-cell (and matrix-to-cell) communication about these interactions. Despite the differential functional significance of these roles, there have been surprisingly few systematic studies to enumerate the universe of CAMs and identify specific CAMs in distinct functions. In this paper, we update and review the set of human genes likely to encode CAMs with searches of databases, literature reviews, and annotations....

Read the full review at PubMed.

Dr. Steven Goldberg Dr. Steven Goldberg
Special Issue of Psychopharmacology: “Addiction Research and the Legacy of Steven R. Goldberg”

We would like to draw your attention to a special issue of Psychopharmacology dedicated to scientific contributions of Dr. Steven R. Goldberg, the former chief of Preclinical Pharmacology Section. The issue contains 22 outstanding articles from Steve’s colleagues and collaborators. The issue leads with a commemoration of Steve’s life by Dr. Jack Bergman HERE [PDF 192K].

We would like to highlight several articles authored by NIDA IRP scientists which you can find at the link below.

We hope you find the special issue interesting and worthy of Steve’s long and productive scientific career.

Zuzana Justinova and Yavin Shaham

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Featured paper of the Month!

JUNE: Local Control of Extracellular Dopamine Levels in the Medial Nucleus Accumbens by a Glutamatergic Projection from the Infralimbic Cortex

J Neurosci. 2016 Jan 20;36(3):851-9

César Quiroz, Marco Orrú, William Rea, Andrés Ciudad-Roberts, Gabriel Yepes, Jonathan P. Britt, and Sergi Ferré

It is generally assumed that infralimbic cortex (ILC) and prelimbic cortex, two adjacent areas of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents, provide selective excitatory glutamatergic inputs to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, respectively. It is also generally believed that mPFC influences the extracellular levels of dopamine in the NAc primarily by an excitatory collateral to the ventral tegmental area (VTA)....

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Featured paper of the Month!

MAY: Neural Estimates of Imagined Outcomes in Basolateral Amygdala Depend on Orbitofrontal Cortex

Neuron. 2013 Oct 16; 80(2): 10.1016

Yuji K. Takahashi, Chun Yun Chang, Federica Lucantonio, Richard Z. Haney, Benjamin A. Berg, Hau-Jie Yau, Antonello Bonci, and Geoffrey Schoenbaum

Imagination, defined as the ability to interpret reality in ways that diverge from past experience, is fundamental to adaptive behavior. This can be seen at a simple level in our capacity to predict novel outcomes in new situations. The ability to anticipate outcomes never before received can also influence learning if those imagined outcomes are not received....

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Reviews to Read

Basal ganglia circuit loops, dopamine and motivation: A review and enquiry

Satoshi Ikemoto, Chen Yang, Aaron Tan

Dopamine neurons located in the midbrain play a role in motivation that regulates approach behavior (approach motivation). In addition, activation and inactivation of dopamine neurons regulate mood and induce reward and aversion, respectively. Accumulating evidence suggests that such motivational role of dopamine neurons is not limited to those located in the ventral tegmental area, but also in the substantia nigra....

Read the full review at PubMed.


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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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