Aim: Previous studies have demonstrated that corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) produces behavioural, physiological and immunological responses similar to those induced by stress. However, these findings have been validated largely in laboratory rats.
Methods: We examined the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of CRF on anxiety and food intake in mice. Using the elevated-plus maze, we measured anxiety levels after i.c.v. CRF in mice. We also measured food intake for 2 h after i.c.v. CRF.
Results: CRF increased the normal preference for the closed arms of the maze at a very low dose of 3 pmol, indicating an anxiogenic effect. CRF powerfully suppressed food intake at the doses of 3-300 pmol for over 2 h.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that i.c.v. CRF evokes anxiogenic behaviour and suppresses feeding with the same dose-response relationships in mice. CRF may thus play a role in integrating the overall responses to stress through co-ordinated actions in the brain of this species.