Plinio C. Casarotto et al. Antidepressant drugs act by directly binding to TRKB neurotrophin receptors


Samuel Gershon’s  comment


       This is an intriguing but highly complex 2021 hypothesis co-authored by 27 authors from Finland, Norway,  Germany and Brazil. One American is cited, Hanna Antila from the Neuroscience Department Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. It was published recently in Cell and presumably peer reviewed.

       As a clinician I am dubious about the veracity and utility of the long hunt to unearth biochemical explanations for clinical effects. Their paper ends with the ambitious claim, “our data suggest a framework that unites the effect of the antidepressant with therapy mediated guidance to achieve the clinical antidepressant response.” It made me wonder how imipramine was differentiated concerning the manifestations of vital depression.



Casarotto PC, Girych M, Fred SM, Kovaleva V, Moliner R, Enkavi G, Biojone C, Cannarozzo C, Sahu MP, Kaurinkoski K, Brunello CA, Steinzeig A, Winkel F, Patil S, Vestring S, Serchov T, Diniz CRAF, Laukkanen L, Cardon I, Antila H, Rog T, Piepponen TP, Bramham CR, Normann C, Lauri SE, Saarma M, Vattulainen I, Castrén E. Antidepressant drugs act by directly binding to TRKB neurotrophin receptors. Cell 2021;184(5):1299-1313.


June 17, 2021