Peptides are small chains of amino acids that are involved in many biological processes, including the regulation of mood. Several peptides have been identified as potential targets for the treatment of depression. For example, one study found that a peptide called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) was significantly reduced in people with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Other studies have looked at the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in depression. BDNF is a protein that helps to support the health and growth of nerve cells. Research has shown that levels of BDNF are lower in people with MDD, and that increasing BDNF levels can help to improve symptoms of depression.
There is also evidence to suggest that the peptide oxytocin may be involved in the development of depression. Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the “hormone of love” or the “cuddle hormone” because it is released during activities like hugging, touching, and sex. Oxytocin has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and research suggests that it may also play a role in treating depression.
While more research is needed to understand the exact role of these peptides in depression, there is promising evidence that they may be involved in the development and treatment of this condition.