Corticotropin-releasing factor receptors 1 and 2 in anxiety and depression

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2002 Feb;2(1):23-33. doi: 10.1016/s1471-4892(01)00117-5.


Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and its related family members are implicated in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression. Recently, two new members of this neuropeptide family have been discovered in the brain: urocortin II (also known as stresscopin-related peptide) and urocortin III (also known as stresscopin). These urocortins are selective agonists for the CRF(2) receptor, show a distinct neuroanatomical localization and are involved in stress-coping responses such as anxiolysis. Thus, CRF, the urocortins and their receptors form an intricate network in the brain involved in the acute phase as well as the recovery phase of the stress response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / metabolism*
  • Depression / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / chemistry
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / metabolism
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / chemistry
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / metabolism
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / physiology


  • CRF receptor type 2
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • CRF receptor type 1