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CRF (ovine) Trifluoroacetate
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a peptide hormone that stimulates both the synthesis and the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in the corticotropin-producing cells (corticotrophs) of the anterior pituitary gland. CRH consists of a single chain of 41 amino acids. Many factors of neuronal and hormonal origin regulate the secretion of CRH, and it is the final common element that directs the body’s response to many forms of stress, including physical and emotional stresses and external and internal stresses.
The goal of this article is to summarize available data examining the physiological significance of brain corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) systems in mediating the behavioral and physiological effects of several classes of abused drugs, including opioid and psychostimulant drugs, alcohol and sedative hypnotics, nicotine, and cannabinoids. An initial discussion of CRF neurobiology is followed by consideration of the role of CRF in drug-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, the behavioral effects of drugs (e.g., locomotor activity, anxiogenic-like responses), drug self-administration, drug withdrawal, and relapse to drug-seeking. Subsequently, neurochemical changes in brain CRF in response to acute and chronic drug exposure are examined. A major conclusion derived from the data reviewed is that extrahypothalamic brain CRF systems are critically involved in behavioral and physiological manifestations of drug withdrawal and in relapse to drug-taking behavior induced by environmental stressors. On the other hand, it appears that hypothalamic CRF, via its action on the HPA axis, is involved in the reinforcing effects of cocaine and alcohol, and the locomotor activating effects of psychostimulant drugs. These preclinical data may provide a rationale for the development of CRF-based pharmacotherapies for the treatment of compulsive drug use in humans.
Sarnyai, Z., Shaham, Y., & Heinrichs, S. C. (2001). The role of corticotropin-releasing factor in drug addiction. Pharmacological reviews, 53(2), 209-244.
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders that include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobic disorders (e.g., specific phobias, agoraphobia, social phobia) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anxiety disorders are among the most common of all mental disorders and, when coupled with an awareness of the disability and reduced quality of life they convey, they must be recognized as a serious public health problem. Over 20 years of preclinical studies point to a role for the CRF system in anxiety and stress responses. Clinical studies have supported a model of CRF dysfunction in depression and more recently a potential contribution to specific anxiety disorders (i.e., panic disorder and PTSD). Much work remains in both the clinical and preclinical fields to inform models of CRF function and its contribution to anxiety. First, we will review the current findings of CRF and HPA axis abnormalities in anxiety disorders. Second, we will discuss startle reflex measures as a tool for translational research to determine the role of the CRF system in development and maintenance of clinical anxiety.
Risbrough, V. B., & Stein, M. B. (2006). Role of corticotropin releasing factor in anxiety disorders: a translational research perspective. Hormones and behavior, 50(4), 550-561.