Document Detail

The role of corticotropin releasing factor in depressive illness: a critical review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9662725     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is the principal neuropeptide involved in regulating the stress response. When centrally administered to animals it produces somatic changes analogous to those seen in both depression and anxiety. In humans, it is capable of reproducing the hormonal changes which are characteristically seen in depressed patients. A literature search using Medline, Embase Psychiatry, PsycLIT and BIDS from 1996-1997 revealed 25 studies that have examined CRF concentrations in patients with affective disorder. The methodology of these studies varies and they can be criticised, in particular, for failing to consider the stress response of the lumbar puncture. Recently, post-mortem immunocytochemical techniques have been employed to help clarify the nature of these abnormalities in depression. On balance, evidence from CSF sampling, post-mortem findings and dynamic endocrine studies suggests that both hypothalamic and extra-hypothalamic concentrations of CRF are moderately elevated in a proportion of currently antidepressant treatment, high CRF concentrations tend to normalise. The causes of increased CRF output in depression are also unknown but may involve an integration of remote vulnerability factors and recent stressors perhaps mediated through impaired function of glucocorticoid receptors. Ultimately, the careful manipulation of CRF may hold therapeutic promise for sufferers of mood disorders.
A J Mitchell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews     Volume:  22     ISSN:  0149-7634     ISO Abbreviation:  Neurosci Biobehav Rev     Publication Date:  1998 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-10-01     Completed Date:  1998-10-01     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7806090     Medline TA:  Neurosci Biobehav Rev     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  635-51     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Liaison Psychiatry, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism,  physiology*
Depressive Disorder / metabolism,  physiopathology*
Stress, Psychological / metabolism,  physiopathology
Reg. No./Substance:
9015-71-8/Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone

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