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Hormone curbs depressive-like symptoms in stressed mice: study


09:34, July 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Xinhua) -- A hormone with anti-diabetic properties also reduces depression-like symptoms in mice, according to a report published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Mice lacking the protein, adiponectin, were more likely to display symptoms of depression such as social aversion and helplessness. Injecting the hormone into their brains appeared to have an anti-depressant effect.

All types of current antidepressants increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. "The finding offers a novel target for treating depression, and would be especially beneficial for those depressed individuals who have type 2 diabetes or who are at high risk for developing it," said the study's senior author, Xin-Yun Lu, associate professor from the University of Texas.

Adiponectin is a metabolic hormone secreted by the adipocytes, the fat cells that cause bulging waistlines. In humans it helps regulate blood sugar and the breakdown of fats. Despite being generated by fat cells, lean people have more of the hormone in their blood than obese individuals.


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