Emerging roles of actin cytoskeleton regulating enzymes in drug addiction: actin or reactin'?

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Aug;23(4):507-12. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.01.027. Epub 2013 Feb 18.


Neurons rely on their cytoskeleton to give them shape and stability, and on cytoskeletal dynamics for growth and synaptic plasticity. Because drug addiction is increasingly seen as the inappropriate learning of strongly reinforcing stimuli, the role of the cytoskeleton in shaping drug memories has been of increasing interest in recent years. Does the cytoskeleton have an active role in shaping these memories, and to what extent do alterations in the cytoskeleton reflect the acute actions of drug exposure, or homeostatic reactions to the chronic exposure to drugs of abuse? Here we will review recent advances in understanding the role of the cytoskeleton in the development of drug addiction, with a focus on actin filaments, as they have been studied in greater detail.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / pathology
  • Cocaine / pharmacology
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / drug effects*
  • Ethanol / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / pharmacology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / metabolism
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / pathology


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Ethanol
  • Cocaine