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Drug News Perspect. 2007 Dec;20(10):613-8. doi: 10.1358/dnp.2007.20.10.1181354.

5-HT7 receptor antagonists as a new class of antidepressants.

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Laboratory of Neuropharmacology FRE CNRS 3006, Faculte de Pharmacie, Universite Lyon 1, Lyon, France.


It is now admitted that major depression is associated with monoaminergic dysfunctions as well as with functional brain plasticity impairments. Despite the wide variety of medications available to treat such a syndrome, two foremost problems still remain unresolved: one-third of patients do not respond to any treatment and there is an unwanted 2-4 week delay in the onset of therapeutic action of all available antidepressant drugs. These issues draw attention to the need and urgency to develop more efficacious treatments and to accelerate the antidepressant response. The combination of an atypical antipsychotic, known to be a potent 5-HT(7) receptor antagonist, with an antidepressant has been recently proposed as an alternative therapy. Hence, blockade of 5-HT(7) receptors might represent a key determinant for this hastening strategy. This review summarizes recent data that put emphasis on the putative antidepressant properties of selective 5-HT(7) receptor antagonists. The use of such ligands seems very promising to elaborate novel generations of antidepressants that surpass the efficacy and onset of action limitations of existing antidepressants.

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