Effects of addictive drugs on adult neural stem/progenitor cells

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Neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) undergo a series of developmental processes before giving rise to newborn neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in adult neurogenesis. During the past decade, the role of NSPCs has been highlighted by studies on adult neurogenesis modulated by addictive drugs. It has been proven that these drugs regulate the proliferation, differentiation and survival of adult NSPCs in different manners, which results in the varying consequences of adult neurogenesis. The effects of addictive drugs on NSPCs are exerted via a variety of different mechanisms and pathways, which interact with one another and contribute to the complexity of NSPC regulation. Here, we review the effects of different addictive drugs on NSPCs, and the related experimental methods and paradigms. We also discuss the current understanding of major signaling molecules, especially the putative common mechanisms, underlying such effects. Finally, we review the future directions of research in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-348
Number of pages22
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Springer Basel.


  • Addictive drugs
  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Differentiation
  • Neural stem/progenitor cells
  • Proliferation
  • Survival


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