Chronic abuse of cocaine is known to cause neuroadaptive changes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). In addition, altered expression of the myelin-related genes MBP, MOBP, PLP1 as well as of MAL2 in NAc was recently reported by gene array analysis in brains from cocaine abusers. In the present study we used in situ hybridization to quantify transcript expression of these four genes, as well as for the myelin-related transcripts encoding quaking, EDG2, claudin-11, transferrin, CNP, and MAG in caudate, putamen, internal capsule, and NAc in postmortem brain from cocaine abusers and matched comparison subjects. Most transcripts were not different between these groups in these striatal regions, and contrary to previous reports, we did not detect any changes in the NAc. However, expression of the transcript encoding PLP1 was significantly decreased in ventral and dorsal regions of the caudate, putamen, and in the internal capsule. Additionally, expression of claudin-11 and transferrin was decreased in the caudate and internal capsule, respectively. PLP1 is expressed at very high levels in oligodendrocytes and is essential in maintaining stability of myelin sheets. Based on these findings, altered expression of PLP1 in most areas of the striatum suggests that widespread changes to the myelin structure could be associated with the adaptive changes following chronic cocaine abuse. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.