The present document is the second of three parts in a review that focuses on recent data from clinical and animal research concerning the biochemical bases of depressive disorders, diagnosis, and treatment. Various receptor/transmitter theories of depressive disorders are discussed in this section. Specifically, data supporting noradrenergic, serotonergic, cholinergic, dopaminergic, GABAergic and peptidergic theories, as well as interactions between noradrenergic and serotonergic, or cholinergic and catecholaminergic systems are presented. Problems with the data and future directions for research are also discussed. A previous publication, Part I of this review, dealt with the classification of depressive disorders and research techniques for studying the biochemical mechanisms of these disorders. A future publication, Part III of this review, discusses treatments for depression and some of the controversies in this field.