The neurogenesis hypothesis of depression was originally formed upon the demonstration that stress impacts levels of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Since then much work has established that newborn neurons in the dentate gyrus are required for mediating some of the beneficial effects of antidepressant treatment. Recent studies combining behavioral, molecular and electrophysiological approaches have attempted to make sense of the role young neurons play in modulating mood by demonstrating a potential role in regulating the circuitry in the brain that underlies depression. Here we discuss the work that led to the neurogenesis hypothesis of depression, and the subsequent studies that have sought to test this hypothesis. We also discuss different animal models of depression that have been used to test the role of neurogenesis in mediating the antidepressant response.
© 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.