The Effect of Antidepressants on Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Osteogenesis and Adipogenesis

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Western Health
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Gustavo Duque 03 8395 8121 Personal web page

Project Details

Previous studies have shown a link between bone mass density and depression/antidepressant use. For example, analyses of clinical data have suggested an association between a low bone mass density and/or fractures, and symptoms of depression. In addition, low bone mass density and/or increased tendency to fracture appear to correlate with antidepressant use, particularly among specific antidepressant drug classes. There may be a molecular basis for these clinical data; however, the causative factor(s) have yet to be conclusively established. On the other hand, conflicting studies

have shown no association between symptoms of depression or antidepressant use and bone mass density.

Despite these clinical data, there has been limited biochemical data to substantiate these claims. One way antidepressants may be affecting bone mass is through altering the ability of stem cells to differentiate into new, bone- building osteoblasts. Further, evidence of the role (if any) of antidepressants in the differentiation of stem cells into adipocytes is lacking in literature. Thus, we seek to discover whether antidepressants have any effect on the differentiation ability of human mesenchymal stem cells into osteoblasts and adipocytes within our in vitro cell systems.

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Western Health

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