The leptin hypothesis of depression: a potential link between mood disorders and obesity?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

185 Scopus citations


The adipose-derived hormone leptin is well known for its function in the control of energy homeostasis. Recent studies suggest a novel role for this adipokine in the regulation of mood and emotion. Low levels of leptin have been found to be associated with depressive behaviors in rodents and humans. Pharmacological studies indicate that leptin has antidepressant-like efficacy. Both leptin insufficiency and leptin resistance may contribute to alterations of affective status. Identifying the key brain regions that mediate leptin's antidepressant activity and dissecting its intracellular signal transduction pathways may provide new insights into the pathogenesis of depression and facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of this illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-652
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology

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