Neurotransmission of Cognition, Part 1: Dopamine Is a Hitchhiker in Frontal Cortex: Norepinephrine Transporters Regulate Dopamine

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It is well known that the monoamine neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin each have their own molecularly distinct presynaptic transporters, sometimes also called “reuptake pumps.” It is also common knowledge that most antidepressants block one or another of these transporters and that the pattern of selectivity of antidepressants results in their clinical effects (e.g., serotonin selective vs. norepinephrine selective vs. dual serotonin and norepinephrine actions). What is less widely appreciated is the fact that the transporters themselves are promiscuous and not all that selective.

J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64(1):4-5