Adult neurogenic and antidepressant effects of adiponectin: A potential replacement for exercise?

Ang Li, Suk Yu Yau, Sergio Machado, Ti Fei Yuan, Kwok Fai So

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Physical exercise has long been recognized to benefit locomotor and cardiovascular systems. Although an increasing body of evidence also suggests it to be an effective non-medicinal remedy for mental disorders such as depression, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. A recent study has demonstrated that increases of the adipocyte secreted hormone adiponectin in the central nervous system following exercise may be responsible for these neuropsychological changes, including enhanced generation of neurons in the adult hippocampus, as well as mitigation of depressive severity. The present review introduces the previously-reported functions of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and adiponectin, and discusses the potential relevance of adiponectin signaling in exercise-induced neural changes. Revealing these novel biological effects of adiponectin in the brain may help hunt reliable biomarkers to better guide the anti-depressive therapy with exercise intervention; meanwhile, pharmaceutical agents that raise endogenous levels of adiponectin or mimic its biological effects might serve as a replacement for physical exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1144
Number of pages16
JournalCNS and Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiponectin
  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Depression
  • Hippocampus
  • Physical exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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