Tricyclic antidepressants: long-term treatment increases responsivity of rat forebrain neurons to serotonin

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Science  22 Dec 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4374, pp. 1303-1306
DOI: 10.1126/science.725608


Long-term treatment of rats with clinically effective tricyclic antidepressant drugs induced a selective increase in the inhibitory response of forebrain neurons to serotonin applied by microiontophoresis. Long-term administration of some related drugs which lack antidepressant efficacy failed to induce such a change. The enhanced response to serotonin induced by the clinically active tricyclic drugs took 1 to 2 weeks to develop, a time course which correlates with the delayed onset of therapeutic effects in humans.