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Eur J Pharmacol. 1999 Jun 30;375(1-3):31-40.

Antidepressants for the new millennium.

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Neuroscience Discovery, Eli Lilly, Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, IN 46285, USA.


Despite a remarkable structural diversity, most conventional antidepressants may be viewed as 'monoamine based', increasing the synaptic availability of serotonin, norepinephrine, and/or dopamine. Both preclinical and recent clinical studies indicate that compounds which reduce transmission at N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are antidepressant. Moreover, chronic administration of antidepressants to mice alters both the mRNA levels encoding N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits and radioligand binding to these receptors within circumscribed areas of the central nervous system. It is hypothesized that these two different treatment strategies converge to produce an identical functional endpoint: a region-specific dampening of NMDA receptor function. The pathways leading to this convergence provide a rudimentary framework for discovering novel antidepressants.

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