Behavioral effects of corticotropin-releasing factor: localization and characterization of central effects

Brain Res. 1988 Mar 8;443(1-2):63-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(88)91598-3.


Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) has potent behavioral effects when administered intracerebroventricularly to rats. CRF and its receptors are found in an uneven distribution in the brain. In an effort to localize the site of the anorectic effect of CRF, exogenous CRF or saline was injected into cannulas directed toward the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN), lateral hypothalamus, ventromedial hypothalamus, globus pallidus, or striatum of rats. CRF decreased food intake only when injected into the PVN. In subsequent experiments PVN injections of CRF were shown to (1) increase grooming and movement; (2) not induce a conditioned taste aversion to saccharin in a single bottle test; and (3) inhibit the increase in feeding induced by injections of norepinephrine into the PVN. These results suggest that CRF induces not only anorexia, but also increased movement and grooming by action in the PVN.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / drug effects
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
  • Food Deprivation
  • Grooming / drug effects*
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Norepinephrine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism
  • Reference Values
  • Taste


  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Norepinephrine