Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF): studies in alcohol preferring and non-preferring rats

C. L. Ehlers, R. I. Chaplin, T. L. Wall, L. Lumeng, T. K. Li, M. J. Owens, C. B. Nemeroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Electroencephalographic (EEG) responses to corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) as well as CRF concentrations in several brain regions were measured in two lines of rats which have been genetically selected for alcohol preferring (P) or non-preferring (NP) behaviors. Fifteen rats were implanted with chronic electrodes and EEG spectra were evaluated following intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of CRF (0.15 nmol) or saline. P rats demonstrated a significantly increased EEG response to CRF in the theta frequency range (ANOVA: PREF × DRUG 4-6 Hz, P<0.03; 6-8 Hz, P<0.05) in frontal cortex. A significantly lower concentration of CRF was found in the P rats in hypothalamus (P<0.02), amygdala (P<0.003), prefrontal cortex (P<0.01), and cingulate cortex (P<0.02). The finding that P rats had an increased response to exogenously administered CRF, taken together with decreased CRF concentrations, suggests that CRF receptors may be up-regulated in these animals. Differences in the regulation of CRF neurons may contribute to the expression of behavioral preference for ethanol consumption in these rat lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol-preferring rats
  • Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF)
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis
  • Spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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