Week 7: A Deep Dive into Antidepressants

Apr 25, 2021

Hello again,

This week I’m back again with another (yes you guessed it) literature review. Don’t worry, after seven weeks of research papers, this process is finally coming to an end. Truthfully, with so much background information, I just want to get my hands on some data! With that being said, this week I took a look at the specific mechanisms of the drugs that I would be experimenting with. Below I have listed the drugs that I intend on testing during experimentation. 

Drug List:

  • Citalopram
  • Sertraline
  • Paroxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Trazodone

The drugs listed above are the most popular antidepressants currently on the market, falling into the category of SSRI antidepressants. Although SSRIs are intended to specifically target Serotonin transporters, they may sometimes target other neurotransmitter transporters/receptors as well. This could lead to a variety of different physiological impacts, depending on where the drug acts in the brain. From the research papers I read in the past week, I have created a table that will elucidate each drug’s selectivity. In this table, the values shown indicate each drug’s Inhibitory Constant (Ki value), measured in nanomoles. All you need to know is that the lower the Inhibitory Constant, the stronger the drug’s impact on the receptor. For instance, if a drug has a low Inhibitory Constant with regards to serotonin reuptake, that drug will have a strong impact on inhibiting serotonin uptake. 

Serotonin Uptake Noradrenaline Uptake Dopamine Uptake
Citalopram 2.71 2750 >10000
Sertraline 0.85 159 78
Paroxetine 0.44 22.2 540
Fluvoxamine 3.08 299 10000
Fluoxetine 87 85.3 3160


Some important takeaways are that Paroxetine has a strong affinity towards noradrenaline, while Sertraline has a strong affinity towards dopamine. This is problematic when considering that serotonin and dopamine have opposing effects on sharp-wave ripple activity.

Thanks for reading guys! I know it may have been a long seven weeks, but moving forwards I’m really going to try and get some data. Currently, my professor is in the lab redeveloping the rat colony. I’ll keep you guys updated as I start to tie all this information together and begin my final paper. See you next week! 


  1. Shank RP, Vaught JL, Pelley KA, Setler PE, McComsey DF, Maryanoff BE. McN-5652: a highly potent inhibitor of serotonin uptake. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1988;247(3):1032-1038.

One Reply to “Week 7: A Deep Dive into Antidepressants”

  1. Maria T. says:

    Sounds like you are well prepared for your experimentation. Looking forward to seeing the results this is really cool!

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