Acute and chronic antidepressant drug treatments respectively decrease and increase the aggressive behaviour of resident rats during encounters with unfamiliar conspecifics. We have now examined the effect of the 5-hydroxytryptamine1A receptor antagonist, WAY-100635, on fluoxetine-, paroxetine- or venlafaxine-induced changes in aggression. WAY-100635 (0.1 mg/kg), which did not modify behaviour when given alone, potentiated the venlafaxine (5.54 mg/kg)-induced reduction in aggression after acute treatment and, during chronic treatment, accelerated the fluoxetine (0.34 mg/kg/day)-induced increase in aggression, from day 5 to day 2. A similar change in time course was seen with paroxetine (0.33 mg/kg/day), although the increase in aggression was smaller. Venlafaxine (5.54 mg/kg/day, alone or co-administered with WAY-100635) increased aggression by day 2. During chronic treatment, therefore, venlafaxine, at the dose used, had a more rapid onset of action than either fluoxetine or paroxetine, whereas the fluoxetine- and paroxetine-, but not the venlafaxine-, induced increase in aggression was accelerated by WAY-100635. These studies further support the hypothesis that selective blockade of the 5-hydroxytryptamine1A receptor augments the effects of antidepressant drugs in an animal model predictive of antidepressant activity, presumably by concomitant blockade of the somatodendritic 5-hydroxytryptamine1A autoreceptor-mediated negative feedback system of serotonergic neurones.