Conclusions

In conclusion, the adult neurogenesis theory of major depression has given an entirely new perspective on this mood disorder. Up to now, the only study available in humans did not show evidence that depression is associated with decreases in hippocampal cell proliferation, while this could be the case for schizophrenia (Reif et al. 2006). Various methodological problems may limit the interpretations resulting from this study (comments in References Sahay and Hen (2007) and Kempermann et al. (2008)), and more experimental and clinical work is needed to go further in this topic. However, a novel theory around the concept relating hip-pocampal neurogenesis to cognitive disturbances found in various psychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia, may help to explain the functional contribution of newly formed neurons (Aimone et al. 2006; Kempermann et al. 2008; Becker and Wojtowicz 2007). More cellular and molecular studies aimed to dissect the mechanisms of action used by different modulators, particularly neu-rotransmitters in neurogenesis, will also result in a better understanding of the function of these new neurons in the adult brain.

Acknowledgments I wish to thank my PhD students: J.M. Brezun, M. Banasr, and A. Soumier, who have performed these studies on serotonin regulation of adult neurogenesis and largely contributed to their development, as well as the IC2N group of IBDML and L. Kerkerian Le Goff, S. Lorte, and F. Masmejean, particularly, and with special thanks to M. Hery. I also wish to thank our colleagues from S. Maccari group in Lille University. Finally, I am also very grateful to E. Mocaer, C. Gabriel-Gracia, and M. Millan from Servier Company for their help and support over the years.

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