Antidepressant actions of ketamine: from molecular mechanisms to clinical practice

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Feb;30:139-43. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 3.


In the past decade the emergence of glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor blockers such as ketamine as fast-acting antidepressants fostered a major conceptual advance by demonstrating the possibility of a rapid antidepressant response. This discovery brings unique mechanistic insight into antidepressant action, as there is a substantial amount of basic knowledge on glutamatergic neurotransmission and how blockade of NMDA receptors may elicit plasticity. The combination of this basic knowledge base and the growing clinical findings will facilitate the development of novel fast acting antidepressants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Ketamine / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Ketamine