GABA and glutamate systems as therapeutic targets in depression and mood disorders

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2005 Feb;9(1):153-68. doi: 10.1517/14728222.9.1.153.


Advances made in diverse areas of neuroscience suggest that neurotransmitter systems, additional to the monoaminergic, contribute to the pathophysiology of mood disorders. This ever accruing body of preclinical and clinical research is providing increased recognition of the contribution made by amino acid neurotransmitters to the neurobiology of mood disorders. This review examines evidence supporting the role of GABA and glutamate in these processes and explores the potential to target these systems in the development of novel compounds; the viability of these agents for treatment-related co-morbidities will also be considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / metabolism
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • GABA Agents / administration & dosage
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mood Disorders / metabolism*
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • GABA Agents
  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid