CART Peptides and Drugs of Abuse: A Review of Recent Progress
Author(s): Michael J Kuhar
Earlier studies suggesting an involvement of cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript peptide (CARTp) in the actions of drugs of abuse are confirmed in the most recent publications. This seems especially true for the psychostimulants where CARTp in the nucleus accumbens inhibits or regulates the actions of these drugs; the regulation is lost after repeated drug use which may be an important mechanism in addiction. The other drugs, including nicotine, alcohol, opiates, and perhaps caffeine can affect CARTp or CART mRNA levels. While the exact mechanism is not always clear, the hope is that these findings may provide some insight for the development of medications. While binding studies indicate the existence of specific G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) receptors for CARTp,major work to be done is the cloning of these receptors.