Antidepressants induce structural remodeling in the adult hippocampus, including changes in dendritic arbors, axonal sprouting, neurogenesis, and endothelial cell proliferation. Such forms of structural plasticity take place in the context of the extracellular matrix environment and are known to be regulated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), in particular MMP-2/9, and their endogenous regulators, the tissue inhibitors of the metalloproteinases (TIMPs 1-4). Given the hippocampal structural remodeling associated with antidepressant treatments, we hypothesized that antidepressants may regulate the expression and activity of MMP-2/9 and TIMPs 1-4. The influence of distinct classes of antidepressants, namely, electroconvulsive seizure, fluoxetine, tranylcypromine, and desipramine, on the gene expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and TIMPs 1-4 in the hippocampus was determined using radioactive in situ hybridization. In addition, zymography studies addressed the regulation of the gelatinase activity of MMP-2/9 following acute and chronic antidepressant administration. We observed that acute and chronic ECS differentially regulate the transcript levels of MMP-2/9 and TIMPs 1-4 and also increase gelatinase activity in the hippocampus. Acute and chronic pharmacological antidepressants on the other hand differentially alter the expression of the TIMPs without any observed effect on hippocampal MMP-2/9 expression or activity. These findings raise the possibility that extracellular matrix modifying enzymes and their endogenous regulators may serve as targets for antidepressant treatments and suggests the possibility that they may contribute to antidepressant-mediated structural plasticity in the hippocampus.