Changes to the binding properties of cortical N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) and beta-adrenergic receptors have both been reported as potential indicators of antidepressant activity. In the present investigation we examined the effects of the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, reboxetine, the serotonin reuptake inhibitor, sertraline, alone and in combination on the binding properties of cortical NMDA receptors and cortical beta (1)-adrenoceptors following 14 days of treatment in the olfactory bulbectomized rat model of depression. A decrease in the potency of glycine to displace the strychnine insensitive glycine antagonist [H-3] 5,7 dichlorokynurenic acid (5,7 DCKA) was observed in cortical homogenates of OB rats when compared to sham-operated controls. Similarly, treatment with the combination of reboxetine and sertraline for 14 days produced a decrease in the potency of glycine when compared to vehicle treated controls. By contrast neither olfactory bulbectomy or drug treatment significantly altered basal or glycine enhanced binding of the non-competitive NMDA antagonist [H-3] MK-801 in cortical homogenates. Reboxetine alone, and in combination with sertraline, down-regulated [H-3]-CGP 12177 (a selective beta -adrenoceptor antagonist) binding in both OB and sham-operated animals. The lack of a bulbectomy effect in the [H-3] CGP-12177 binding assay, and the fact that olfactory bulbectomy and antidepressant treatments produce a similar change to the potency of glycine at the NMDA receptor, suggests that these tests do not provide a neurochemical marker for either the behavioral hyperactivity deficit or antidepressant response in the model.