Physiological and therapeutic relevance of constitutive activity of 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors for the treatment of depression

Kelly A. Berg, John A. Harvey, Umberto Spampinato, William P. Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

70 Scopus citations


Serotonin2A (5-HT2A) and 5-HT2C receptors are highly homologous members of the serotonin2 family of 7-transmembrane-spanning (7-TMS) receptors. Both of these receptor subtypes have been implicated in the aetiology and/or treatment of affective disorders such as anxiety and depression. Regulation of dopaminergic neurotransmission by 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptor systems has been well established. In general, agonist activation of 5-HT2A receptors can facilitate stimulated dopamine (DA) release, whereas 5-HT2C agonists inhibit dopaminergic neural activity and DA release under both basal and activated conditions. However, recent experimental evidence suggests that 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors can be constitutively active (agonist-independent activity) in vivo. Alterations in the constitutive activity of 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptor systems could be involved in the mechanisms underlying anxiety and depression or exploited for therapeutic benefit. Consequently, drugs with inverse agonist properties may have more activity in vivo to regulate DA neurotransmission than that afforded by simple competitive antagonism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSerotonin-Dopamine Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationExperimental Evidence and Therapeutic Relevance
EditorsGiuseppe Di Giovann, Vincenzo Di Matteo, Ennio Esposito
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123


  • agonist-independent receptor activity
  • dopamine
  • dopaminergic neurotransmission
  • inverse agonism
  • signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Physiological and therapeutic relevance of constitutive activity of 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors for the treatment of depression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this