It has been previously shown that 5-HT uptake inhibition produced by tetanus toxin (TeTx) corresponds to a non-competitive inhibition, and it is preceded by phosphorylation of the tyrosine-kinase receptor trkA, phospholipase C activation and translocation of protein kinase C isoforms [FEBS Lett. 481 (2000) 177; FEBS Lett. 486 (2000) 136]. In the present work, it is shown that agonists of tyrosine-kinase receptors (NGF, EGF, basic FGF) enhance Na(+)-dependent, 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin, 5-HT) uptake in the synaptosomal-enriched P(2) fraction from rat-brain, suggesting a divergence in the intracellular signal pathways triggered by TeTx and by agonists of TyrK receptors. Co-applications of TeTx and agonists of TyrK receptors result in a mutual and partial reversion of their effects on 5-HT transport. In spite of their differences on transport, TeTx, TPA and NGF produce an increase in serotonin transporter phosphorylation in Ser separately, which is abolished by the PKC-inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide-1. Co-application of sodium vanadate, a tyrosine-phosphatase inhibitor, partially abolishes the effect produced by TeTx, whereas genistein, a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor, does not exert any variation of TeTx inhibition. Analyses by immunoblotting of the activation of specific PKC isoforms activation, determined as translocation to the membrane compartment, reveals differences in the pattern produced by NGF and TeTx. PKC gamma, delta, and epsilon isoforms are equally activated by both compounds, whereas the beta isoform is activated in a sustained manner only by TeTx, and the alpha isoform is only down-regulated by NGF. The aim of the present work was to explore whether NGF have the same effect on 5-HT transport than TeTx, since both compounds share the ability of activate part of the same transduction pathways. In spite of this, growth factors and TeTx show an opposite effect on 5-HT transport, even though SERT phosphorylation is enhanced in both cases. The differential effect on alpha- and beta-PKC isoenzymes found between NGF and TeTx action could explain this apparent discrepancy.