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Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:541971. doi: 10.1155/2012/541971. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

The role of dietary polyphenols on adult hippocampal neurogenesis: molecular mechanisms and behavioural effects on depression and anxiety.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.

Abstract

Although it has been long believed that new neurons were only generated during development, there is now growing evidence indicating that at least two regions in the brain are capable of continuously generating functional neurons: the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is a widely observed phenomenon verified in different adult mammalian species including humans. Factors such as environmental enrichment, voluntary exercise, and diet have been linked to increased levels of AHN. Conversely, aging, stress, anxiety and depression have been suggested to hinder it. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are still unclear and yet to be determined. In this paper, we discuss some recent findings addressing the effects of different dietary polyphenols on hippocampal cell proliferation and differentiation, models of anxiety, and depression as well as some proposed molecular mechanisms underlying those effects with particular focus on those related to AHN. As a whole, dietary polyphenols seem to exert positive effects on anxiety and depression, possibly in part via regulation of AHN. Studies on the effects of dietary polyphenols on behaviour and AHN may play an important role in the approach to use diet as part of the therapeutic interventions for mental-health-related conditions.

PMID:
22829957
PMCID:
PMC3395274
DOI:
10.1155/2012/541971
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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