DNA Methylation, Substance Use and Addiction: a Systematic Review of Recent Animal and Human Research from a Developmental Perspective

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Abstract

Growing evidence points to the role of epigenetic
mechanisms, including DNA methylation, in substance use
and addiction.We conducted a systematic review of 47 recent
(2012–2015) animal and human studies that investigate DNA
methylation and substance use/exposure, spanning preconception
to adulthood. The majority of extant studies (i) focused on
exposure during adulthood, (ii) examined the effects of alcohol
use, (iii) employed a candidate gene approach, and (iv)
were cross-sectional. While studies generally support an association
between substance use/exposure and DNA methylation
and also suggest that developmental context and timing
matter, a dearth of longitudinal data and low comparability
across studies currently limits the conclusions that can be
drawn. Future challenges and directions for the field are
discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-346
JournalCurrent addiction reports
Volume2
Issue number4
Early online date28 Sept 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • DNA Methylation
  • Substance Use
  • Addiction
  • Development
  • Epigenetics
  • Systematic review

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