Influence of β-catenin signaling on neurogenesis in neuropsychiatric disorders: Anxiety and depression.

El-Kadi, R. A., N. F. Abdelkader, H. F. Zaki, and A. S. Kamel, "Influence of β-catenin signaling on neurogenesis in neuropsychiatric disorders: Anxiety and depression.", Drug development research, vol. 85, issue 1, pp. e22157, 2024.


It has been proven that stress, mainly in the early years of life, can lead to anxiety and mood problems. Current treatments for psychiatric disorders are not enough, and some of them show intolerable side effects, emphasizing the urgent need for new treatment targets. Hence, a better understanding of the different brain networks, which are involved in the response to anxiety and depression, may evoke treatments with more specific targets. One of these targets is β-catenin that regulates brain circuits. β-Catenin has a dual response toward stress, which may influence coping or vulnerability to stress response. Indeed, β-catenin signaling involves several processes such as inflammation-directed brain repair, inflammation-induced brain damage, and neurogenesis. Interestingly, β-catenin reduction is accompanied by low neurogenesis, which leads to anxiety and depression. However, in another state, this reduction activates a compensatory mechanism that enhances neurogenesis to protect against depression but may precipitate anxiety. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanism of β-catenin could enhance our knowledge about anxiety and depression's pathophysiology, potentially improving clinical results by targeting it. Herein, the different states of β-catenin were discussed, shedding light on possible drugs that showed action on psychiatric disorders through β-catenin.