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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 612798, 11 pages
Review Article

NF- B Mediated Regulation of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Relevance to Mood Disorders and Antidepressant Activity

Laboratory of Neuroplasticity, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale, Via Bovio 6, 28100 Novara, Italy

Received 15 November 2013; Accepted 28 December 2013; Published 12 February 2014

Academic Editor: Catia M. Teixéira

Copyright © 2014 Valeria Bortolotto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is a peculiar form of process of neuroplasticity that in recent years has gained great attention for its potential implication in cognition and in emotional behavior in physiological conditions. Moreover, a vast array of experimental studies suggested that adult hippocampal neurogenesis may be altered in various neuropsychiatric disorders, including major depression, where its disregulation may contribute to cognitive impairment and/or emotional aspects associated with those diseases. An intriguing area of interest is the potential influence of drugs on adult neurogenesis. In particular, several psychoactive drugs, including antidepressants, were shown to positively modulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Among molecules which could regulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis the NF-κB family of transcription factors has been receiving particular attention from our and other laboratories. Herein we review recent data supporting the involvement of NF-κB signaling pathways in the regulation of adult neurogenesis and in the effects of drugs that are endowed with proneurogenic and antidepressant activity. The potential implications of these findings on our current understanding of the process of adult neurogenesis in physiological and pathological conditions and on the search for novel antidepressants are also discussed.