Effects of antidepressants on monoamine transporters

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1988;12(2-3):193-216. doi: 10.1016/0278-5846(88)90037-1.


1. Using [3H]antidepressants, high affinity binding sites associated with the neuronal transporter for serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine and adrenaline have been identified. 2. The association of high affinity [3H]imipramine binding with the serotonin transporter in brain and platelets is well established. Although the exact relationship between the [3H]imipramine recognition site and the serotonin transporter remains to be elucidated, it appears that the [3H]imipramine labelled component of the serotonin transporter represents a novel receptor that functions to modulate serotonin uptake. 3. Most data available to date support the hypothesis that [3H]imipramine binding to platelet represents a biological marker in depression. The majority of studies indicate that the Bmax of platelet [3H]imipramine binding is lower in depressed, untreated patients than in the control population and that this finding is relatively specific to depression. 4. Among the [3H]antidepressant binding sites associated with the other monoaminergic transporters, the recent identification of [3H]desipramine binding to the neuronal transporter for adrenaline offers novel perspectives. Thus, given the high affinity for [3H]desipramine binding to the adrenaline transporter in the frog heart for not only desipramine but also imipramine and the atypical antidepressants mianserin and iprindol, it is possible that an interaction with the adrenaline transporter is of significance to the clinical effects of antidepressant drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / metabolism*
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Biogenic Amines / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Epinephrine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism*
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Receptors, GABA-A / metabolism*
  • Serotonin / metabolism


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Biogenic Amines
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine