Adult hippocampal neurogenesis: A possible way how physical exercise counteracts stress

Suk Yu Yau, Wui Man Lau, Kwok Fai So

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


It was considered that neurogenesis only occurred during the embryonic and developmental stage. This view has greatly changed since the discovery of adult neurogenesis in two brain regions: the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb. Recently, it is suggested that altered hippocampal neurogenesis is related to pathophysiology of mood disorders and mechanism of antidepressant treatments. Accumulating knowledge about the effects of physical exercise on brain function suggests a special role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in cognitive and mental health, even though the functional significance of adult neurogenesis is still debated. The beneficial effects of running correlating with increased adult neurogenesis may provide a hint that newborn neurons may be involved, at least in part, in the counteractive mechanism of physical exercise on stress-related disorders, like depression. The present review provides an overview of recent findings to emphasize the possible involvement of hippocampal neurogenesis in mediating the beneficial effects of physical exercise on counteracting stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendritic plasticity
  • Hippocampal neurogenesis
  • Physical exercise
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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