Researchers have identified a potential treatment target for depression in a mouse study at the University of Texas Health Centre San Antonio.
The team identified a hormone with anti-diabetic properties that is capable of reducing depression.
Known as adiponectin, it is secreted by adipose tissue and makes the body sensitive to insulin.
According to researchers the discovery is significant as currently many antidepressants, including common tricyclics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, increase a person's risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Xin-Yun Lu, associate professor of pharmacology and psychiatry and lead senior author of the study, commented: "The finding offers a novel target for treating depression, and would be especially beneficial for those depressed individuals who have type 2 diabetes or who are at high risk of developing it."
Adiponectin is a key protein in the body and women with low levels have previously been identified as at risk of asthma.
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