Bursts and the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.


Journal Article

We present a new hypothesis for the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). We propose that SSRIs bring the response to the phasic firing of raphe nucleus cells back to normal, even though the average extracellular 5HT concentration remains low. We discuss burst firing in the raphe nuclei and use mathematical models to argue that tonic firing and phasic firing may be decoupled and may come from different mechanisms. We use a mathematical model for serotonin synthesis, release, and reuptake in terminals to illustrate the responses in terminal regions to bursts in a normal individual and in an individual with low vesicular serotonin. We then show that acute doses of SSRIs do not bring the response to bursts back to normal, but that chronic doses do return the response to normal. These model results need to be confirmed by new electrophysiological and pharmacological experiments.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Best, J; Nijhout, HF; Reed, M

Published Date

  • May 5, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 Suppl 1 /

Start / End Page

  • S76 - S83

PubMed ID

  • 21547871

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21547871

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1439-0795

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0176-3679

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1055/s-0031-1273697


  • eng