Molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-drinking behaviours

Dorit Ron*, Segev Barak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The main characteristic of alcohol use disorder is the consumption of large quantities of alcohol despite the negative consequences. The transition from the moderate use of alcohol to excessive, uncontrolled alcohol consumption results from neuroadaptations that cause aberrant motivational learning and memory processes. Here, we examine studies that have combined molecular and behavioural approaches in rodents to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that keep the social intake of alcohol in check, which we term 'stop pathways', and the neuroadaptations that underlie the transition from moderate to uncontrolled, excessive alcohol intake, which we term 'go pathways'. We also discuss post-transcriptional, genetic and epigenetic alterations that underlie both types of pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-591
Number of pages16
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


FundersFunder number
German Israel FoundationGIF I-2348-105.4/2014
National Institute of Psychobiology in Israel
National Institutes of HealthNIH-NIAAAP50 AA017072, RO1 AA016848
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismR01AA014366, U01AA023489
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression19114
National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem110-14-15
Israel Science Foundation191613, ISF 96813


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