Contributions from Peripheral Autonomic Pharmacology to an Understanding of Antidepressant Drug Action
Antidepressant effects in man can be produced by drugs which inhibit noradrena-line or serotonin (5-HT) uptake or deamination,aswell as drugs such as iprindole, which are not known to directly affect noradrenergic or serotonergic neurons. The clinical effectiveness of agents such as maprotiline and nisoxetine (Iversen and Mackay, 1979), which selectively inhibit neuronal uptake of noradrenaline, points to the importance of the noradrenergic neurons in antidepressant action. Surprisingly, despite the wealth of information on catecholamine receptors and metabolites following administration of antidepressant drugs in man and laboratory animals, there remains much controversy over the basic effect of these drugs on catecholamine release. This is largely because of the difficulty of determining catecholamine turnover in the presence of drugs such as monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors or tricyclic compounds which markedly alter catecholamine metabolism and overflow.
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