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Addiction is a major public health burden affecting a large portion of the world's population and is associated with socioeconomic burdens, among other issues. Over time, we observe a transition in addiction, from impulsive to compulsive behaviors and, later, to allostatic changes in the reward and stress ...

Addiction is a major public health burden affecting a large portion of the world's population and is associated with socioeconomic burdens, among other issues. Over time, we observe a transition in addiction, from impulsive to compulsive behaviors and, later, to allostatic changes in the reward and stress pathways. Positive and negative reinforcements play an important role in the allostatic process and are often followed by dysregulation of key neurochemical components in specific brain regions. 

Behavioral arousal requires the integration of several neurotransmitters and neuromodulator systems, including peptides in the brain, such as hypocretin/orexin, neuropeptide Y, oxytocin, neuropeptide S, galanin, corticotropin-releasing hormone, dynorphin, nociceptin/orphanin FQ, among others. There is a need to identify the role of these neuropeptides modulating arousal, stress, and reward, and to understand how these systems are regulated by addictive drugs and how they contribute to the pathophysiology of addiction and other neuropsychiatric disorders. This information may shed light on the role of these peptides in the neuroplasticity involved in the initiation and maintenance of addiction and other psychiatric disorders and the pathophysiology of negative affective states associated with drug withdrawal.

Notably, understanding which neuropeptides are involved in the neural and behavioral plastic changes that occur following drug use and abuse and in negative affective states associated with drug withdrawal could aid in the development of effective medications to manage addiction and especially drug craving, which is one of the major challenges in the management of addiction.  

This Research Topic aims to publish breakthrough findings encompassing the role of neuropeptides in addiction and other neuropsychiatric disorders and how drugs of abuse affect the level of these peptides and their receptors.
We welcome manuscripts addressing the following themes:

- Anatomical description of the brain circuits of arousal/stress-regulating peptides and their implication in addiction and other psychiatric disorders
- Physiological roles of arousal/stress-related peptides and interaction with neurotransmitters systems involved in motivated and emotional behaviors and their implication in addiction and other psychiatric disorders
- Functional dissection of brain circuits in rodents via pharmacological, chemogenetic, or optogenetic approaches aimed at studying the impact of their modulation in cognition, sociability, emotions, motivation, sleep/wake regulation and their implication in addiction and other psychiatric disorders
- Involvement of arousal/stress-related peptides in behavior during prenatal, postnatal, and adulthood periods and their implication in addiction and other psychiatric disorders
- Sex differences in arousal/stress-related peptides in behavior regulation and their implication in addiction and other psychiatric disorders
- The role of neuropeptides in reward and negative affective states, such as anxiety and depression, associated with drug withdrawal

Keywords: Neuropeptides, Neuropsychiatric disorders, Addictive Drugs, Brain Circuits, Motivated Behaviors


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