Depression is associated with decreased serotonin metabolism and functioning in the central nervous system,
evidenced by both animal models of depression and clinical patient studies. Depression is also accompanied by decreased
hippocampal neurogenesis in diverse animal models. Neurogenesis is mainly defined in dentate gyrus of hippocampus as
well as subventricular zone. Moreover, hypothalamus, amygdala, olfactory tubercle, and piriform cortex are reported with
evidences of adult neurogenesis. Physical exercise is found to modulate adult neurogenesis significantly, and results in
mood improvement. The cellular mechanism such as adult neurogenesis upregulation was considered as one major mood
regulator following exercise. The recent advances in molecular mechanisms underlying exercise-regulated neurogenesis
have widen our understanding in brain plasticity in physiological and pathological conditions, and therefore better
management of different psychiatric disorders.
Keywords: Exercise, serotonin, depression, neurogenesis.
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