Viral vector-mediated gene therapy for opioid use disorders

Tao Wang, Xun Zhu, Hyun Yi, Jun Gu, Shue Liu, Sari Izenwasser, Vance P. Lemmon, Sabita Roy, Shuanglin Hao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Chronic exposure to opioids typically results in adverse consequences. Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a disease of the CNS with behavioral, psychological, neurobiological, and medical manifestations. OUD induces a variety of changes of neurotransmitters/neuropeptides in the nervous system. Existing pharmacotherapy, such as opioid maintenance therapy (OMT) is the mainstay for the treatment of OUD, however, current opioid replacement therapy is far from effective for the majority of patients. Pharmacological therapy for OUD has been challenging for many reasons including debilitating side-effects. Therefore, developing an effective, non-pharmacological approach would be a critical advancement in improving and expanding treatment for OUD. Viral vector mediated gene therapy provides a potential new approach for treating opioid abused patients. Gene therapy can supply targeting gene products directly linked to the mechanisms of OUD to restore neurotransmitter and/or neuropeptides imbalance, and avoid the off-target effects of systemic administration of drugs. The most commonly used viral vectors in rodent studies of treatment of opioid-used disorder are based on recombinant adenovirus (AV), adeno-associated virus (AAV), lentiviral (LV) vectors, and herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors. In this review, we will focus on the recent progress of viral vector mediated gene therapy in OUD, especially morphine tolerance and withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113710
JournalExperimental neurology
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Gene therapy
  • OUDs
  • Viral vectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Viral vector-mediated gene therapy for opioid use disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this