HT Receptor Subtypes

The true complexity of the serotonergic system is revealed when it is considered that over 14 different types of 5-HT receptor, assigned to one of seven families (5-HT1_7), have currently been identified and that the number is set to rise (Barnes and Sharp 1999; Hoyer et al. 2002). Investigation of the possibility that these different receptors mediate different functions within the 5-HT system has only begun more recently with the advent of selective pharmaceutical compounds that can distinguish between the different receptor subtypes, and this avenue of research is constantly growing with the continuous development of more selective agents. Given the increasing interest in the serotonergic system in relation to psychiatric disorders and the escalating number of drug targets available, a comprehensive review of this work would be lengthy undertaking. Discussion that is more detailed will therefore be limited to 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptor subtypes, with the caveat that this is not a comprehensive delineation of the 5-HT receptors that may be implicated in the regulation of attentional processes and executive functions.

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