Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology

, Volume 49, Issue 8, pp 987–995 | Cite as

Serotonin and Dopamine in Biological Models of Depression

  • A. V. Latanov
  • V. A. Korshunov
  • V. I. MaiorovEmail author
  • A. N. Serkov

Depression in the biological models considered here can be split into two opposite patterns of changes in serotonin and dopamine levels, corresponding to passive and active stress response tactics [Selye, 1979] – ↑5HT, ↓DA and ↓5HT, ↑DA. Unavoidable pain stimulation, chronic moderate aversive stimulation, unavoidable social suppression, and learned helplessness in response to social defeats are characterized by the ↑5HT, ↓DA pattern. Aggressive behavior to an intruder, avoidance of an aggressive inhabitant, avoidance of pain stimulation, and injection of ketamine all activate the ↓5HT, ↑DA pattern. The physiological nucleus of learned helplessness and social avoidance may be the Pavlovian conditioned freezing reflex in response to a threat and the conditioned avoidance reaction, respectively. Further studies should address the following questions: how does neuron activity in the raphe nuclei change during forced swimming? Why does the increase in the serotonin level in response to antidepressants increase swimming while serotonin neurons are inhibited during swimming? Why is the increase in the serotonin level in the state of learned helplessness combined with suppression of active swimming?


models of depression stress serotonin dopamine ketamine raphe nuclei ventromedial prefrontal cortex ventral tegmental area learned helplessness forced swimming test tail suspension test 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Latanov
    • 1
  • V. A. Korshunov
    • 2
  • V. I. Maiorov
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. N. Serkov
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Higher Nervous ActivityLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and NeurophysiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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