Abuse of psychostimulants presents a significant health and social problem worldwide. Traditionally, the dopaminergic system has received much attention for its role in the development and manifestation of addictive behavior. The identification of the close interaction between the dopaminergic and glutamatergic pathway and by extension the nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathway (the nitrergic system) have provided a broader scope on the mechanisms underlying the development of addictive behavior following exposure to cocaine and methamphetamine. NO signaling is associated with the acquisition and maintenance of several behavioral phenotypes induced by cocaine and methamphetamine (METH), as well as in METH-induced dopaminergic depletion. Because it appears that NO signaling influences response to reward, memory formation, and free radical-induced neurotoxicity, pharmacotherapies targeting NO signaling pathway may prove beneficial in the treatment of psychostimulants abuse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery