Conventional serotonin-enhancing antidepressants including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have shown effectiveness in the treatment of major depression, but their significant limitations such as slowness of action have led to intensive research efforts to develop new antidepressants. Increased synaptic neurotransmission of serotonin (5-hdroxytryptamine; 5-HT) through orchestration of stimulation and blockade of various subtypes of 5-HT receptors is involved in the mechanisms of action of SSRIs. Agonists at the 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2C, 5-HT4, and 5-HT6 receptors and antagonists at the 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, 5-HT3, 5-HT6, and 5-HT7 receptors have shown antidepressant properties in clinical and preclinical studies. However, paradoxical antidepressant-like effects of both agonists and antagonists at particular 5-HT receptors suggest the need to consider the neurochemical mechanisms of each 5-HT receptor subtype. Therefore, better knowledge of the involvement of individual 5-HT receptors in the mechanisms of action of currently used antidepressants as well as antidepressant effects of selective ligands of 5-HT receptor subtypes will provide opportunities for the development of future antidepressants with more rapid onset of action, fewer side effects, and better efficacy than SSRIs.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Synaptic neurotransmission of serotonin
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery