Regulation of adult neurogenesis by stress, sleep disruption, exercise and inflammation: Implications for depression and antidepressant action

P. J. Lucassen*, P. Meerlo, A. S. Naylor, A.M. van Dam, A. G. Dayer, E. Fuchs, C. A. Oomen, B. Czeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

321 Citations (Scopus)


Adult hippocampal. neurogenesis, a once unorthodox concept, has changed into one of the most rapidly growing fields in neuroscience. The present report results from the ECNP targeted expert meeting in 2007 during which cellular plasticity changes were addressed in the adult brain, focusing on neurogenesis and apoptosis in hippocampus and frontal cortex. We discuss recent studies investigating factors that regulate neurogenesis with special emphasis on effects of stress, sleep disruption, exercise and inflammation, a group of seemingly unrelated factors that share at least two unifying properties, namely that they all regulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis and have all been implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. We conclude that although neurogenesis has been implicated in cognitive function and is stimulated by antidepressant drugs, its functional impact and contribution to the etiology of depression remains unclear. A lasting reduction in neurogenesis following severe or chronic stress exposure, either in adult or early life, may represent impaired hippocampal plasticity and can contribute to the cognitive symptoms of depression, but is, by itself, unlikely to produce the full mood disorder. Normalization of reductions in neurogenesis appears at least partly, implicated in antidepressant action. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • adult neurogenesis
  • cell proliferation
  • cell survival
  • hippocampus
  • dentate gyrus
  • prefrontal cortex
  • stress
  • chronic stress
  • psychosocial stress
  • neonatal stress
  • prenatal stress
  • early life events
  • hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
  • HPA axis
  • glucocorticoids
  • cortisol
  • corticosterone
  • adrenalectomy
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep restriction
  • sleep disturbance
  • sleep disruption
  • sleep disorder
  • serotonin
  • serotonin 1A receptor
  • exercise
  • running
  • inflammation
  • microglia
  • cytokinesis
  • synaptic plasticity
  • neuronal plasticity
  • hippocampal volume
  • depression
  • mood disorders
  • affective disorders
  • antidepressant
  • fluoxetine

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