Dopamine, depression and antidepressants

Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2004 Dec;18(6):601-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-8206.2004.00287.x.


Abstract The relationship between depression and dopamine deficiency in the mesolimbic pathway has been hypothesized for many years. The experimental studies with animal models of depression and the human studies implicate the role of the dopamine system in depression. Not only do dopaminergic receptor agonists, but also antagonists such as olanzapine exhibit antidepressant effects associated with standard antidepressants in patients with treatment-resistant depression. This paradoxical result suggests that further investigations are necessary to understand the role played by dopamine in depression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Dopamine / genetics
  • Receptors, Dopamine / metabolism*


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Dopamine Agents
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Dopamine