Review abstract


Nature Neuroscience 10, 1110 - 1115 (2007)
Published online: 28 August 2007 | doi:10.1038/nn1969

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis in depression

Amar Sahay1 & Rene Hen1


Focus on Emotion and Disorders of Emotion

The development of new treatments for depression is predicated upon identification of neural substrates and mechanisms that underlie its etiology and pathophysiology. The heterogeneity of depression indicates that its origin may lie in dysfunction of multiple brain regions. Here we evaluate adult hippocampal neurogenesis as a candidate mechanism for the etiology of depression and as a substrate for antidepressant action. Current evidence indicates that adult hippocampal neurogenesis may not be a major contributor to the development of depression, but may be required for some of the behavioral effects of antidepressants. We next revisit the functional differentiation of the hippocampus along the septo-temporal axis within the context of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and suggest that neurogenesis in the ventral dentate gyrus may be preferentially involved in regulation of emotion. Finally, we speculate on how increased adult hippocampal neurogenesis may modulate dentate gyrus function to confer the behavioral effects of antidepressants.

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  1. Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Division of Integrative Neuroscience, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Box 87, PI Annex, Room 767B, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Correspondence to: Amar Sahay1 e-mail: as2619@columbia.edu

Correspondence to: Rene Hen1 e-mail: rh95@columbia.edu

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