Corticotropin releasing hormone, receptor regulation and the stress response

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Oct 1;9(8):329-36. doi: 10.1016/s1043-2760(98)00079-4.


Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) coordinates behavioral, autonomic and hormonal responses to stress, including activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis with stimulation of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and glucocorticoids. Differential changes of expression of CRH and vasopressin(VP) in the parvicellular hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), as well as regulation of CRH and VP receptors, are critical for the responsiveness of the HPA axis during stress. Pituitary CRH receptor (CRH-R)expression and content is controlled by the coordinated action of CRH, VP and glucocorticoids. Marked changes in hypothalamic and pituitary CRH-R expression support a key regulatory role for CRH in the HPA axis and the integrated stress response.