2008 issue 4


Volume 24, issue 4

Review article

The role of dopaminergic system in pathogenesis of depressive disorders

Dominika Dudek1, Marcin Siwek1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych, Szpital Uniwersytecki UJ CM w Krakowie
Farmakoterapia w Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2008, 4, 211–220
Keywords: depression, treatment, dopamine, atypical antipsychotics, antiparcinsonic drugs


The aim of this review was to discuss the role of dopaminergic pathways in pathogenesis and treatment of depressive disorders. The growing body of evidence from experimental and clinical studies suggests that dopamine may play as important role in the patophisiology of depression as serotonine and noradrenaline. Long-lasting administration of andidepressants results in enhancement of dopaminergic transmission and increased activity of postsynaptic D2/D3 receptors, especially in nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. Dopaminergic agents may induce manic switches (e.g. L-DOPA in the treatment of Parkinson disease), have the antidepressant properties (e.g. bupropion) or may augment the effi cacy of standart antidepressants (eg. 1. antiparkinsonic drugs: pramipexole, amantadine, bromocripine, cabergoline; 2. psychostimulants: methylfenidate, amphetamine and derivates); 3. antypical antipsychotics with dopaminergic proerties: aripiprazole, amisulpride). Dopaminergic drugs may be – used in monotherapy or cambined treatment – may be a very important alternative in cases of drug-resistance or subtype of depression with predominance of psychomotor retardation, anhedonia, somnolence, decreased energy and lack of motivation. These symptoms may be a result of disturbed dopaminergic neurotransmission.

Address for correspondence:
Dominika Dudek
Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych UJ CM
ul. Kopernika 21 a, 31-501 Kraków
tel. (012) 424-87-03, fax (012) 424-87-45
e-mail: dominika.dudek@poczta.fm