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What is Selective about SSRIs ?

  1. May 25, 2010 #1

    I have been reading up about SSRIS (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) - and as I understand it they basically bind to the monoamine transporter which tries to take the serotonin back from the post synaptic terminal to the pre synaptic terminal. By binding to the monoamine transporter they prevent it from transporting the serotonin. The consequence of this is that the serotonin stays on the post synaptic terminal longer which keeps stimulating the cell.

    I have two questions about this:

    1. What does 'keep stimulating' mean ? does it repeatedly pulse the signal which was being transferred to the pre synamptic terminal again and again ?

    2. What is Selective about the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors ?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2010 #2
    What a nice description of that. :)

    You mean post-synaptic cell right? It stays in the synapse longer so that it's available to trigger the post-synaptic cell longer, and a SSRI is selective because it affects serotonin and not other neurotransmitters.
  4. May 25, 2010 #3
    hey jackmell - yeah I did mean post synaptic.

    So the selective refers to the fact that you are solely inhibiting the monoamine transporters which reuptake the serotonin ?

    Thanks !
  5. May 25, 2010 #4
    Yep, SSRI's are selective for serotonin transporters and do not inhibit dopamine transporters or norepinephrine transporters, or at least not as much.
  6. Jun 1, 2010 #5
    For comparison:
    Sertralin, SSRI - Only inhibits serotonin transporters.
    Venlafaxine, SSRI and SNRI - Inhibits serotonin and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) transporters.
    Cocaine would be an SNRI and SDRI, inhibiting noradrenaline and dopamine transporters.
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