Fat-cell hormone 'can fight depression'
A hormone released by fat cells that combats diabetes may also act as an anti-depressant, a study has shown. Mice lacking the protein, adiponectin, were more likely to display symptoms of depression.
Injecting the hormone into their brains appeared to have an anti-depressant effect.
The findings could pave the way for new treatments for depression, especially among diabetics, say scientists.
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.
The new research, led by Dr Xin-Yun Lu from the University of Texas at San Antonio, US, is reported in the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'.