Neuropeptides and Addiction: An Introduction Todd E. Thiele Corticotropin-Releasing Factor (CRF) and Addictive Behaviors Marisa Roberto, Samantha R. Spierling, Dean Kirson and Eric P. Zorrilla Dynorphin/Kappa Opioid Receptor Signaling in Preclinical Models of Alcohol, Drug, and Food Addiction Anushree Karkhanis, Katherine M. Holleran and Sara R. Jones The Role of the Ghrelin System in Drug Addiction Lia J. Zallar, Mehdi Farokhnia, Brendan J. Tunstall, Leandro F. Vendruscolo and Lorenzo Leggio The Role of the Melanocortin System in Drug and Alcohol Abuse Montserrat Navarro Substance P and the Neurokinin-1 Receptor: The New CRF Jesse R. Schank and Markus Heilig The Role of Neuropeptide Y (NPY) in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Disorders Stacey L. Robinson and Todd E. Thiele Orexin/Hypocretin System: Role in Food and Drug Overconsumption Jessica R. Barson and Sarah F. Leibowitz Oxytocin, Tolerance, and the Dark Side of Addiction Cort A. Pedersesen Contribution of Urocortin to the Development of Excessive Drinking Andrey E. Ryabinin and William J. Giardino
Focuses on the role of brain neuropeptides in the modulation of disorders of excessive consumption, including alcohol, drugs and food
Todd Thiele joined Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina in 2001, where he has developed over the years the main objective of his work: to identify the neurobiological mechanisms in the brain that drive excessive alcohol (ethanol) consumption, and to identify the plastic changes that occur in the brain during the transition to ethanol dependence. To address these questions, he has focused on two neurobiological systems. One system integrating emotional responses, and involves a functionally interconnected set of brain regions often referred to as the extended amygdala. The second system involves brain circuitry modulating motivated behaviors associated with the acquisition and consumption of natural rewards. Converging evidence, both from the pre-clinical and clinical literature, suggests that ethanol usurps or "hijacks" the brain neurocircuitry that regulates emotions and responses to natural rewards, causing long-term changes that are associated with abnormal function. These changes trigger negative emotions and cause natural rewards to lose their reinforcing value, both outcomes which are thought to trigger uncontrolled ethanol intake. His hope is that by identifying how the brain changes over the course of heavy ethanol use, he may help identify pharmaceutical approaches that may prevent individuals that abuse ethanol from progressing to a state of dependence.