Important messages in the 'post': recent discoveries in 5-HT neurone feedback control.
Sharp T., Boothman L., Raley J., Quérée P.
The neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) mediates important brain functions and contributes to the pathophysiology and successful drug treatment of many common psychiatric disorders, especially depression. It is established that a key mechanism involved in the control of 5-HT neurones is feedback inhibition by presynaptic 5-HT autoreceptors, which are located on 5-HT cell bodies and nerve terminals. However, recent experiments have discovered an unexpected complexity of 5-HT neurone control, specifically in the form of postsynaptic 5-HT feedback mechanisms. These mechanisms have the physiological effects of 5-HT autoreceptors but use additional 5-HT receptor subtypes and operate through neural inputs to 5-HT neurones. A postsynaptic feedback system that excites 5-HT neurones has also been reported. This article discusses current knowledge of the pharmacology and physiology of these new found 5-HT feedback mechanisms and considers their possible contribution to depression pathophysiology and utility as a resource of novel antidepressant drug strategies.