Presynaptic noradrenergic regulation during depression and antidepressant drug treatment.

R. M. Cohen, I. C. Campbell, M. R. Cohen, T. Torda, D. Pickar, L. J. Siever, D. L. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


A specific testable hypothesis in which supersensitive alpha-2-adrenoreceptors play an important role in the etiology and maintenance of affective illness is presented based on the following observations: (1) published findings of changes in adrenergic receptors in the periphery and brains of rats in response to antidepressant regimens; (2) new studies of the monoamine oxidase type A-inhibiting antidepressant clorgyline, specifically relating to adaptation in the alpha-adrenergic presynaptic negative feedback system; (3) human peripheral alpha-adrenergic receptor changes from studies of patients with affective illness; and (4) observations from animals and humans experiencing stress and withdrawal from chronic amphetamine and opiate administration, suggesting that the development of supersensitive alpha-2-adrenoreceptors may lead to affective illness in vulnerable individuals. Old and new pharmacologic treatments are then discussed in terms of their capacity to specifically alter adrenergic receptor state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)


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