Intrinsic plasticity: an emerging player in addiction

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Mar;16(3):173-84. doi: 10.1038/nrn3877.


Exposure to drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, leads to plastic changes in the activity of brain circuits, and a prevailing view is that these changes play a part in drug addiction. Notably, there has been intense focus on drug-induced changes in synaptic excitability and much less attention on intrinsic excitability factors (that is, excitability factors that are remote from the synapse). Accumulating evidence now suggests that intrinsic factors such as K+ channels are not only altered by cocaine but may also contribute to the shaping of the addiction phenotype.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Addictive / diagnosis*
  • Behavior, Addictive / genetics
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*