The rationale for corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor (CRH-R) antagonists to treat depression and anxiety
Holsboer F
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry,
Munich, Germany.
J Psychiatr Res 1999 May-Jun; 33(3):181-214


Neuroendocrine studies strongly suggest that dysregulation of the hypothalamic pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system plays a causal role in the development and course of depression. Whereas the initial mechanism resulting in HPA hyperdrive remains to be elucidated, evidence has emerged that corticosteroid receptor function is impaired in many patients with depression and in many healthy individuals at increased genetic risk for an depressive disorder. Assuming such impaired receptor function, then central secretion of CRH would be enhanced in many brain areas, which would account for a variety of depressive symptoms. As shown in rats and also in transgenic mice with impaired glucocorticoid receptor function, antidepressants enhance the signaling through corticosteroid receptors. This mechanism of action can be amplified through blocking central mechanisms that drive the HPA system. Animal experiments using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides directed against the mRNA of both CRH receptor subtypes identified the CRH1 receptor as the mediator of the anxiogenic effects of CRH. Studies in mouse mutants in which this receptor subtype had been deleted extended these findings as the animals were less anxious than wild-type mice when experimentally stressed. Thus, patients with clinical conditions that are causally related to HPA hyperactivity may profit from treatment with a CRH1 receptor antagonist.
21st Century
Cortisol blues
Depressive rats
Social rank theory
Glucocorticoids and mood
Serotonin, stress, and CRH
CRF-1 receptor antagonists
Neuroendocrinology of stress
Alcohol, suicide and serotonin
Depression, opioids and the HPA
Suicide, serotonin and the HPA Axis
The corticosteroid hypothesis of depression
New anxiolytics/antidepressants: R278995/CRA0450
Stress, dynorphin, dysphoria and the kappa opioid system

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family