Increased corticotropin-releasing factor concentrations in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of anhedonic rats
Stout SC, Mortas P, Owens MJ, Nemeroff CB, Moreau J
Laboratory of Neuropsychopharmacology,
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
Emory University School of Medicine,
1639 Pierce Drive,
Suite 4000,
30322, Atlanta, GA, USA
Eur J Pharmacol 2000 Jul 28; 401(1):39-46


Chronic mild stress in rats is an antidepressant-responsive model for anhedonic symptoms of major depression. Many patients with depression exhibit alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neuronal function. This study investigated the potential involvement of CRF and CRF receptors in the development of chronic mild stress-induced anhedonia in rats. Rats were subjected to 19 days of chronic mild stress, during which time anhedonia was periodically assessed by determining the threshold for self-stimulation of the ventral tegmental area. Anhedonic rats exhibited a 50% increase in CRF concentrations in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis compared to control rats. There were no significant changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, CRF or CRF(1) receptor mRNA expression, or CRF receptor binding in the brain regions analyzed. Though preliminary, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that chronic stress-induced modulation of CRF function in specific brain structures such as the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis may contribute to the pathophysiology of depression.
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