Opportunities for the development of neuroimmune therapies in addiction

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2014;118:381-401. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-801284-0.00012-9.


Studies have implicated neuroinflammatory processes in the pathophysiology of various psychiatric conditions, including addictive disorders. Neuroimmune signaling represents an important and relatively poorly understood biological process in drug addiction. The objective of this review is to update the field on recent developments in neuroimmune therapies for addiction. First, we review studies of neuroinflammation in relation to alcohol and methamphetamine dependence followed by a section on neuroinflammation and accompanying neurocognitive dysfunction in HIV infection and concomitant substance abuse. Second, we provide a review of pharmacotherapies with neuroimmune properties and their potential development for the treatment of addictions. Pharmacotherapies covered in this review include ibudilast, minocycline, doxycycline, topiramate, indomethacin, rolipram, anakinra (IL-1Ra), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists, naltrexone, and naloxone. Lastly, summary and future directions are provided with recommendations for how to efficiently translate preclinical findings into clinical studies that can ultimately lead to novel and more effective pharmacotherapies for addiction.

Keywords: Addiction; Inflammation; Neuroinflammation; Pharmacotherapy; Substance use disorder; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / immunology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*


  • Immunologic Factors