Monoamine transporters: from genes to behavior

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2003;43:261-84. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.43.050802.112309. Epub 2002 Sep 17.


Modulation of fast neurotransmission by monoamines is critically involved in numerous physiological functions and pathological conditions. Plasma membrane monoamine transporters provide one of the most efficient mechanisms controlling functional extracellular monoamine concentrations. These transporters for dopamine (DAT), serotonin (SERT), and norepinephrine (NET), which are expressed selectively on the corresponding neurons, are established targets of many psychostimulants, antidepressants, and neurotoxins. Recently, genetic animal models with targeted disruption of these transporters have become available. These mice have provided opportunities to investigate the functional importance of transporters in homeostatic control of monoaminergic transmission and to evaluate, in an in vivo model system, their roles in physiology and pathology. The use of these mice as test subjects has been helpful in resolving several important issues on specificity and mechanisms of action of certain pharmacological agents. In the present review, we summarize recent advances in understanding the physiology and pharmacology of monoamine transporters gained in mice with targeted genetic deletion of DAT, SERT, and NET.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal* / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal* / physiology
  • Biogenic Monoamines / deficiency
  • Biogenic Monoamines / genetics
  • Biogenic Monoamines / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout


  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Carrier Proteins