The role of serotonin in the pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia

Anissa Abi-Dargham, Marc Laruelle, George K. Aghajanian, Dennis Charney, John Krystal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations


The concept of 'balanced serotonergic/dopaminergic antagonists' reflects renewed interest in the role of serotonin (5-HT) in schizophrenia. Postmortem brain tissue analysis, cerebrospinal fluid studies, and pharmacological challenges suggest a deficit in 5-HT function in the cortex of patients with schizophrenia. In contrast, however, 5-HT2 antagonism is claimed to have beneficial effects on both positive and negative symptoms of the illness. The authors attempt to resolve this paradox with a model that takes into account the suggestion of a cortical serotonergic hypofunction and a beneficial effect of 5-HT2 antagonism via modulation of subcortical dopamine activity. Although involvement of 5-HT in schizophrenia is supported by compelling evidence, move research is needed to better define its role in pathophysiology and treatment of this illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


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