Evidence from the various sources indicates alterations in 5-HT2C receptor functions in anxiety, depression and suicide, and other stress-related disorders treated with antidepressant drugs. Although the notion of a 5-HT2C receptor desensitization following antidepressant treatments is rather well anchored in the literature, this concept is mainly based on in vitro assays and/or behavioral assays (hypolocomotion, hyperthermia) that have poor relevance to anxio-depressive disorders. Our objective herein is to provide a comprehensive overview of the studies that have assessed the effects of antidepressant drugs on 5-HT2C receptors. Relevant molecular (second messengers, editing), neurochemical (receptor binding and mRNA levels), physiological (5-HT2C receptor-induced hyperthermia and hormone release), behavioral (5-HT2C receptor-induced changes in feeding, anxiety, defense and motor activity) data are summarized and discussed. Setting the record straight about drug-induced changes in 5-HT2C receptor function in specific brain regions should help to determine which pharmacotherapeutic strategy is best for affective and anxiety disorders.
Keywords: 5-HTT; Anxiety; Depression; Editing; SSRI; Serotonin(2C); Splicing.
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