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Eur J Pharmacol. 2000 Sep 29;405(1-3):365-73.

The role of dopamine in the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs.

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Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Università di Sassari, via Muroni 23/a, 07100, Sassari, Italy.


The present paper reviews evidence on the effect of antidepressant treatments on dopamine transmission. Chronic treatment with antidepressant drugs potentiates the behavioural stimulant responses elicited by the stimulation of dopamine receptors, including reward-related behaviours. Moreover, antidepressants affect dopamine release in several brain areas. The reviewed literature is discussed in terms of the possible mechanisms underlying antidepressant-induced supersensitivity to dopamine-mediated behavioural responses, and of the possible implications for the therapeutic effect of these drugs. It is concluded that the potentiation of dopaminergic neurotransmission induced by chronic antidepressant treatments might contribute to their therapeutic effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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