New Efforts to Demonstrate the Successful Use of TRH as a Therapeutic Agent

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jul 4;24(13):11047. doi: 10.3390/ijms241311047.


Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is a tripeptide that regulates the neuroendocrine thyroid axis. Moreover, its widespread brain distribution has indicated that it is a relevant neuromodulator of behaviors such as feeding, arousal, anxiety, and locomotion. Importantly, it is also a neurotrophic peptide, and thus may halt the development of neurodegenerative diseases and improve mood-related disorders. Its neuroprotective actions on those pathologies and behaviors have been limited due to its poor intestinal and blood-brain barrier permeability, and because it is rapidly degraded by a serum enzyme. As new strategies such as TRH intranasal delivery emerge, a renewed interest in the peptide has arisen. TRH analogs have proven to be safe in animals and humans, while not inducing alterations in thyroid hormones' levels. In this review, we integrate research from different approaches, aiming to demonstrate the therapeutic effects of TRH, and to summarize new efforts to prolong and facilitate the peptide's actions to improve symptoms and the progression of several pathologies.

Keywords: TRH analogs; neuromodulator; therapeutic factor; thyrotropin-releasing hormone.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism
  • Thyroid Hormones / metabolism
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone* / metabolism
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone* / therapeutic use


  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Peptides
  • Thyroid Hormones