Currently, drug abuse and addiction represent a global public health concern with about 13.6 million people using illicit drugs in the USA alone. Substance abuse intervenes in normal brain functioning, causing alterations in memory, behavior and neuronal physiology. Although many studies have been conducted to elucidate the mode of action of different drugs, the heterogeneous modes of drug intake led to a complicated profile of drug-induced brain changes involving neurotoxicity and addiction. Given the complex interplay of genes and proteins in mediating these effects, neuroproteomics analysis has been considered among the methods of choice to complement what has already been discovered and to create targeted therapies. In this review, we will focus on three drugs, namely cocaine, methamphetamine (METH) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA). In the context of neuroproteomics, these drugs have been extensively studied by utilizing different experimental models, including primate and non-primate animals along with postmortem human samples. Even though there are many variations in the results, these drugs were shown to employ common pathways in eliciting their effects. Neuroproteomics analysis of these drugs has led to the identification of differentially expressed proteins involved in metabolism, oxidative stress, cell signaling, cytoskeleton, cell death and synaptic plasticity. Finally, this work will discuss recent findings from our laboratory by looking at a model of chronic methamphetamine abuse and its effect on different brain regions.
- Drug abuse