A role for CRF in anxietyrelated disorders

Whilst there is considerable data on the role of CRF in depression,89 CRF systems may also play a role in anxiety states. CRF has central, behavioral arousal properties characteristic of other anxiogenic compounds that relate directly to the hyperarousal that defines anxiety disorders. CRF has been implicated as a mediator in panic disorder based on the observation that patients with this disorder exhibit a blunted ACTH response to CRF as compared to normal individuals. This blunted response likely reflects processes occurring above the level of the hypothalamus related to hypersecretion of CRF. In rats, CRF disrupts PPI in a manner similar to that observed in patients with panic disorder where the CRF system is thought to be overactive.97 These effects could be reversed by CRF receptor antagonists.89

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