The effect of two second-generation antidepressants escitalopram and venlafaxine on the activity of brain and liver cytochrome P450 2D (CYP2D) involved in the metabolism of psychotropics and neurotransmitters was determined in the chronic mild stress (CMS) model of depression. Escitalopram or venlafaxine (10 mg/kg ip/day each) were administered to control and CMS rats for 5 weeks. The activity of CYP2D was studied by measurement of the rate of bufuralol 1'-hydroxylation in microsomes derived from the liver or different brain structures. The obtained results indicate that CMS and the studied antidepressants had different effects on the CYP2D activity depending on the location of the enzyme. In the brain, CMS produced an increase in the CYP2D activity in the hippocampus. Chronic escitalopram or venlafaxine had no effect on the CYP2D activity in the brain of nonstressed rats, however, the antidepressants increased the enzyme activity in the frontal cortex, hypothalamus and cerebellum of stressed animals. In the liver, CMS did not affect the CYP2D activity, while chronic escitalopram or venlafaxine significantly decreased the CYP2D activity and protein level in nonstressed and stressed rats. We conclude that: 1) CMS stimulates the CYP2D activity in the hippocampus and triggers the stimulatory effect of antidepressants on CYP2D in other brain structures; 2) the local brain metabolism of CYP2D substrates (neurosteroids, neurotransmitters, psychotropics) may be enhanced by CMS and/or antidepressants; 3) in contrast to the brain, the liver metabolism of CYP2D substrates may be slower during long-term treatment with escitalopram or venlafaxine.