Although Interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha, CAS 9008-11-1) is a powerful drug in treating several viral infections and certain tumors, a considerable amount of neuropsychiatric side-effects such as depression and anxiety are an unavoidable consequence. Combination with the selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine (CAS 56296-78-7) significantly improved the situation. However, the potential 5-HT(1A) receptor- and 5-HT(1B) receptor-signals involved in the antidepressant effects are still unclear. The effects of 5-HT(1A) receptor- and 5-HT(1B) receptor signals were analyzed by using the mouse forced swimming test (FST), a predictive test of antidepressant-like action. The present results indicated that (1) fluoxetine (administrated intragastrically, 30 mg/kg; not subactive dose: 15 mg/kg) significantly reduced IFN-alpha-induced increase of the immobility time in the forced swimming test; (2) 5-HT(1A) receptor- and 5-HT(1B) receptor ligands alone or in combination had no effects on IFN-alpha-induced increase of the immobility time in the FST; (3) surprisingly, WAY 100635 (5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist, 634908-75-1) and 8-OH-DPAT(5-HT(1A) receptor agonist, CAS 78950-78-4) markedly enhanced the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine at the subactive dose (15 mg/kg, i. g.) on the IFN-alpha-treated mice in the FST. Further investigations showed that fluoxetine combined with WAY 100635 and 8-OH-DPAT failed to produce antidepressant effects in the FST. (4) Co-application of CGS 12066A (5-HT(1B) receptor agonist, CAS 109028-09-3) or GR 127935 (5-HT(1B/1D) receptor antagonist, CAS 148642-42-6) with fluoxetine had no synergistic effects on the IFN-alpha-induced increase of immobility time in FST. (5) Interestingly, co-administration of GR 127935, WAY 100635 and fluoxetine significantly reduced the IFN-alpha-induced increase in immobility time of FST, being more effective than co-administration of WAY 100635 and fluoxetine. All results suggest that (1) compared to the 5-HT(1B) receptor, the 5-HT(1A) receptor signal plays the dominant role in improving the anti-immobility effect of fluoxetine in the IFN-alpha-induced depression; (2) combination of the 5-HT(1A) antagonist with subactive fluoxetine can be helpful in IFN-alpha-induced depression treatment.