Neurotrophic factors and regulation of mood: role of exercise, diet and metabolism

Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Dec;26 Suppl 1:88-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.08.018. Epub 2005 Oct 13.


Results from basic and clinical studies demonstrate that stress and depression decrease neurotrophic factor expression and neurogenesis in brain, and that antidepressant treatment blocks or reverses these effects, leading to a neurotrophic hypothesis of depression. Neurotrophic factor expression and neurogenesis are also decreased during aging and could be risk factors for depression. In contrast, exercise and enriched environment increase neurotrophic support and neurogenesis, which could contribute to the blockade of the effects of stress and aging and produce antidepressant effects. A brief overview of this work and the specific neurotrophic factors involved are discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Atrophy / drug therapy
  • Atrophy / etiology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Diet*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Growth Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Stress, Physiological / drug therapy*
  • Stress, Physiological / pathology
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Nerve Growth Factors