Dopaminergic mesolimbic and mesocortical systems are fundamental in hedonia and motivation. Therefore their regulation should be central in understanding depression treatment. This review highlights the dopaminergic activity in relation to depressive behavior and suggests two putative receptors as potential targets for research and development of future antidepressants. In this article we review data that describe the role of serotonin in regulating dopamine release, via 5HT2C and 5HT3 receptors. This action of serotonin appears to be linked to depressive-like behavior and to onset of behavioral effects of antidepressants in an animal model of depression. We suggest that drugs or strategies that decrease 5HT2C and increase 5HT3 receptor-mediated dopamine release in the limbic areas of the brain may provide a fast onset of therapeutic effect. Clinical and basic research data supporting this hypothesis are discussed.
Keywords: Animal model of depression, Dopamine, Flinder Sensitive Line rats, Nucleus accumbens, Ventral striatum, Nefazodone, Mirtazapine, Venlafaxine
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