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date: 09 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Genetic animal models have a long history of contribution to the understanding of alcohol dependence. Studies have provided insight into genetic contributions to risk and are beginning to be used to suggest better targeted pharmacotherapies. This review discusses how different species and genetic methods have been used to target specific aspects of alcohol dependence. It identifies areas of future promise and those in which more information is needed. It considers how genetic and environmental sources interact to affect risk and treatment response. The review concentrates on alcohol because the majority of data have come from alcohol studies, but it also gives examples of generalization of the alcohol work to other drugs of abuse and identifies some areas where drug-specific factors are important.

Keywords: Inbred strains, selective breeding, targeted mutagenesis, gene expression, epigenetics, reward, tolerance, sensitization, withdrawal, relapse, gene–environment (GxE) interaction

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