From what I've read the major receptor subtypes involved in the antidepressant effects of SSRIs are:

  • 5-HT1A
  • 5-HT2C
  • 5-HT3
  • 5-HT6

Please cite journal articles to back up your claims, I don't want any piece of information to be unverifiable.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I noticed you've asked a few questions about antidepressants recently--did you know that there's a cogsci stack that you can try too? I'm not saying these questions should be there instead of here, just saying you could ask in both places and see if it's helpful. $\endgroup$
    – yelx
    Jan 30, 2013 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ No, I didn't know that. Thanks for this suggestion, Alexandria. $\endgroup$
    – Josh Pinto
    Jan 30, 2013 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


You're right, those are all important! There are several good reviews on the mechanism of action antidepressants. I like Molecular Pharmacology, by Nestler, or even Principles of Neural Science, by Kandel. I think a textbook is going to be your best bet, in terms of getting up to speed here, as this is largely an already-researched issue, but here are some good review articles as well:

  1. Bonhomme et al., 1988
  2. Charney et al., 1981
  3. Norbert & Esposito, 1998
  4. Spencer, 2012

If you have a more specific question, let me know!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The question was which receptors are involved in the antidepressant actions of SSRIs, bupropion isn't a SSRI. I was going to say you're a little right up until I saw that you were talking about NDRIs -- by blocking the 5-HT2C receptors or downregulating them they manage to increase the dopamine and norepinephrine concentrations in various regions of the brain thus increase the activity of their respective receptors. $\endgroup$
    – Josh Pinto
    Jan 29, 2013 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentonHorne: Ah, sorry about that. I started talking about antidepressants and got carried away, I think! $\endgroup$
    – Kyle.
    Jan 29, 2013 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentonHorne: If you're really interested in SSRIs, I highly recommend the Nestler text--it talks about all classes of drugs, but it is one of the best bits of scientific writing I have encountered. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle.
    Jan 29, 2013 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ Which one's the Nestler text? $\endgroup$
    – Josh Pinto
    Jan 29, 2013 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentonHorne: The Molecular Pharmacology one. It's a text book, but totally worth the money, I think! I think it's most recent edition is 2008, but it's definitely a good overview of everything up until that point! $\endgroup$
    – Kyle.
    Jan 29, 2013 at 20:13

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