Increasing Adiponergic System Activity as a Potential Treatment for Depressive Disorders

Douglas Affonso Formolo, Thomas Ho Yin Lee, Suk Yu Yau (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Depression is the most devastating mental disorder and one of the leading contributors to the global medical burden. Current antidepressant prescriptions present drawbacks, including treatment resistance, delayed onset of treatment response, and side effects. The rapid and long-lasting antidepressant effect of ketamine has brought hope to treatment-resistant major depressive disorder patients. However, ketamine has undesirable addictive properties and is a drug of abuse. There is an urgent need, therefore, to develop novel pharmacological interventions that could be as effective as ketamine, but without its side effects. Adiponectin, a pleiotropic adipocyte-secreted hormone, has insulin-sensitizing and neurotrophic properties. It can cross the blood-brain barrier and target multiple brain regions where the adiponectin receptors are detected. Emerging evidence has suggested that adiponectin and the adiponectin receptor agonist, AdipoRon, could promote adult neurogenesis, dendritic and spine remodeling, and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, resulting in antidepressant effects in adult mice. By summarizing the most recent clinical and animal studies, this review provides a timely insight on how modulating the adiponergic system in the hippocampus could be a potential therapeutic target for an effective and fast-acting antidepressant response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7966-7976
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Adiponectin
  • Adiponectin receptors
  • AdipoRon
  • Depression
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuroplasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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