The role of cholecystokinin in the induction of aggressive behavior: a focus on the available experimental data (review)

Acta Physiol Hung. 2013 Dec;100(4):361-77. doi: 10.1556/APhysiol.100.2013.4.1.


Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a neuropeptide that is (among others) reportedly involved in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. The excitatory role of CCK in negative affective emotions as well as in aversive reactions, antisocial behaviors and memories, has been indicated by numerous electrophysiological, neurochemical and behavioral methodologies on both animal models for anxiety and human studies. The current review article summarizes the existing experimental evidence with regards to the role of CCK in the induction of aggressive behavior, and: (a) synopsizes the anatomical circuits through which it could potentially mediate all types of aggressive behavior, as well as (b) highlights the potential use of these experimental evidence in the current research quest for the clinical treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

Keywords: CCK receptors; aggressive behavior; anxiety disorders; cholecystokinin; dopamine; experimental data; mood; neuroanatomical circuits; neuromodulators; nucleus accumbens; serotonin; stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / physiology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Cholecystokinin / chemistry
  • Cholecystokinin / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • Cholecystokinin