Role of microRNAs in the pathophysiology of addiction

Austin M. Gowen, Katherine E. Odegaard, Jordan Hernandez, Subhash Chand, Sneh Koul, Gurudutt Pendyala, Sowmya V. Yelamanchili

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disorder characterized by compulsive seeking despite adverse consequences. There are both heritable and epigenetic mechanisms underlying drug addiction. Emerging evidence suggests that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) such as microRNAs (miRNAs), long non-coding RNAs, and circular RNAs regulate synaptic plasticity and related behaviors caused by substances of abuse. These ncRNAs modify gene expression and may contribute to the behavioral phenotypes of addiction. Among the ncRNAs, the most widely researched and impactful are miRNAs. The goal in this systematic review is to provide a detailed account of recent research involving the role of miRNAs in addiction. This article is categorized under: RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Small Molecule-RNA Interactions RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1637
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • addiction
  • epigenetic
  • microRNA
  • non-coding RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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