Depression and obesity are major public health concerns, and there is mounting evidence that they share etiopathophysiological mechanisms. The neurobiological pathways involved in both mood and energy balance regulation are complex, multifactorial and still incompletely understood. As a coactivator of the pleiotropic transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1) has recently emerged as a novel regulator of neuronal plasticity and brain functions, while CRTC1 dysfunction has been associated with neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. This review focuses on recent evidence emphasizing the critical role of CRTC1 in the neurobiology of depression and comorbid obesity. We discuss the role of CRTC1 downregulation in mediating chronic stress-induced depressive-like behaviors, and antidepressant response in the light of the previously characterized Crtc1 knockout mouse model of depression. The putative role of CRTC1 in the alteration of brain energy homeostasis observed in depression is also discussed. Finally, we highlight rodent and human studies supporting the critical involvement of CRTC1 in depression-associated obesity.
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Frontiers Media SA