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Serotonin (5-HT) interacts with multiple brain 5-HT receptor subtypes to influence a wide range of behaviours. Three main families of 5-HT receptors (5-HT1, 5-HT2 and 5-HT3) have been described which differ in their binding affinity for selective ligands, their receptor-effector coupling mechanisms, and the behavioural processes they regulate. Nevertheless, manipulation of several different 5-HT receptor subtypes (5-HT1A, 5-HT1C, 5-HT2 and 5-HT3) may produce anxiolytic effects; 5-HT1A and 5-HT2 receptors may be involved in the aetiology of major depression and the therapeutic effects of antidepressant treatment; and 5-HT3 receptors have been linked to reward mechanisms and cognitive processes. These advances offer therapeutic possibilities, the value of which can only be satisfactorily assessed by controlled clinical trials.


Journal article


Br J Psychiatry Suppl

Publication Date



7 - 14


Animals, Anxiety Disorders, Arousal, Brain, Humans, Receptors, Serotonin, Serotonin Antagonists, Serotonin Receptor Agonists, Terminology as Topic