The serotonin and neurotrophic factor hypotheses of depression are well known. The discovery of brain fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1)-5 hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A (5-HT1A) heteroreceptor complexes, and their enhancement of neuroplasticity, offers an integration of these hypotheses at the molecular level. They were first described in the hippocampus and later in midbrain 5-HT neurons, where these heterocomplexes are enriched in 5-HT1A autoreceptors. Combined FGF2 and 5-HT1A agonist treatment increased the formation of these heterocomplexes and the facilitatory allosteric receptor-receptor interactions within them led to the enhancement of FGFR1 signaling and was associated with the development of antidepressant effects. We discuss these findings with regard to a theory of motifs critically involved in these interactions and suggest that these complexes represent novel targets for antidepressants.
Keywords: 5-HT1A receptor; allosteric receptor–receptor interactions; depression; fibroblast growth factor receptor 1; heteroreceptor complexes; neural plasticity.
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