Strong muscles, strong mind

Deglr6328; Marek M [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

Depression is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Physical exercise can improve symptoms in many people with depression, but the mechanisms by which it does so have not been characterized. Physical endurance exercise induces PGC-1α1 in skeletal muscle, promoting mitochondrial biogenesis, fatty acid oxidation, angiogenesis and resistance to muscle atrophy. By studying young transgenic male mice overexpressing PGC-1α1 in skeletal muscle, researchers from Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) have now identified one way in which skeletal muscle PGC-1α1 induced by physical exercise protects against depression.

Lab Anim. (NY) 43, 386 (2014).
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