CRF in the paraventricular nucleus mediates gastric and colonic motor response to restraint stress

Am J Physiol. 1992 Jan;262(1 Pt 1):G137-43. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.1992.262.1.G137.


The role of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) in the control of gastric emptying of a nonnutrient meal and colonic transit was investigated in conscious fasted rats chronically implanted with hypothalamic cannulas and catheters in both the stomach and proximal colon. CRF (0.06-0.6 nmol) microinfused unilaterally into the PVN resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of gastric emptying (0-51%) and stimulation of colonic transit (0-93%). CRF (0.6 nmol)-induced delay in gastric emptying was inhibited by 50% by subdiaphragmatic vagotomy or atropine methyl nitrate (1 mg/kg ip), whereas the stimulation of colonic transit was completely abolished by atropine methyl nitrate and reduced by 19% by vagotomy. Microinfusion of CRF (0.6 nmol) into the lateral hypothalamus or central amygdala had no effect. Restraint exposure for 1 h delayed gastric emptying and stimulated colonic transit by 28 and 78%, respectively. Bilateral microinfusion of the CRF antagonist alpha-helical CRF-(9-41) (13 nmol) into the PVN before restraint abolished stress-induced alterations of gastric and colonic transit. The CRF antagonist did not alter basal gastric and colonic transit under basal conditions. These data indicate that the PVN is a specific responsive site for central CRF-induced alterations of gastric and colonic transit and suggest that endogenous CRF in the PVN plays a role in mediating restraint stress-related alterations of gastrointestinal transit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Colon / physiopathology*
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility*
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Microinjections
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Stomach / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Physiological / etiology
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology*


  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone