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Pharmacol Ther. 1995 Apr;66(1):17-37.

Interactions between 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor subtypes: is a disturbed receptor balance contributing to the symptomatology of depression in humans?

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Department of Neuropharmacology, N.V. Organon, Oss, The Netherlands.


The purpose of this review is to describe the consequences of antidepressant treatment on the behaviour of rodents after activation of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) receptor subtypes. In a summary table, the involvement of 5-HT receptors in inducing behavioural changes are described. It is emphasized that these effects are not always only exclusively linked to serotonergic functions nor that they are only initiated by central 5-HT receptors. Hereafter, the complex mutual inhibitory effects of 5-HT receptor subtype-mediated processes are discussed by interpreting effects of antagonists and describing the different effects of low and high doses of mixed 5-HT1C/5-HT2 receptor agonists. Mutual influences are seen particularly with 5-HT1A, 5-HT1C and 5-HT2, but not with 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D or 5-HT3 receptor-mediated effects. It is shown that the behavioural consequences of 5-HT1A, 5-HT1C and 5-HT2 receptor stimulation may be changed by brain lesions or chronic treatment with drugs. Among these drugs are the antidepressants. Finally, 5-HT receptor function in depressed patients is discussed, and the hypothesis is proposed that an important function of antidepressants is to restore a disturbed balance between 5-HT1A, 5-HT1C and 5-HT2 receptors in depressed patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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