Agomelatine (S20098) is a novel antidepressant drug with melatonergic agonist and 5-HT2C receptor antagonist properties, displaying antidepressant/anxiolytic-like properties in animal models and in humans. In a depression/anxiety-like mouse model in which the response of the HPA axis is blunted, we investigated whether agomelatine could reverse behavioural deficits related to depression/anxiety compared to the classical selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. Adult mice were treated for 8 wk with either vehicle or corticosterone (35 μg/ml.d) via drinking water. During the final 4 wk, animals were treated with vehicle, agomelatine (10 or 40 mg/kg i.p.) or fluoxetine (18 mg/kg i.p.) and tested in several behavioural paradigms and also evaluated for home-cage activity. Our results showed that the depressive/anxiety-like phenotype induced by corticosterone treatment is reversed by either chronic agomelatine or fluoxetine treatment. Moreover, agomelatine increased the dark/light ratio of home-cage activity in vehicle-treated mice and reversed the alterations in this ratio induced by chronic corticosterone, suggesting a normalization of disturbed circadian rhythms. Finally, we investigated the effects of this new antidepressant on neurogenesis. Agomelatine reversed the decreased cell proliferation in the whole hippocampus in corticosterone-treated mice and increased maturation of newborn neurons in both vehicle- and corticosterone-treated mice. Overall, the present study suggests that agomelatine, with its distinct mechanism of action based on the synergy between the melatonergic agonist and 5-HT2C antagonist properties, provides a distinct antidepressant/anxiolytic spectrum including circadian rhythm normalization.