Reduced Corticotropin Releasing Factor Binding Sites in the Frontal Cortex of Suicide Victims

Charles B. Nemeroff, Michael J. Owens, Garth Bissette, Anne C. Andorn, Michael Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

490 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have provided evidence that corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) is hypersecreted in patients with major depression. This CRF hypersecretion is believed to contribute at least in part to hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenalaxis in depressed patients. If CRF is chronically hypersecreted in depressed patients, then, due to down-regulation, a reduced number of CRF receptor binding sites should be present in patients with profound depressive disorder. To test this hypothesis, we measured the number and affinity of CRF binding sites in the frontal cortex of 26 suicide victims and 29 controls who died of a variety of causes. There was a marked (23%) reduction in the number of CRF binding sites in the frontal cortex of the suicide victims compared with the controls. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that CRF is hypersecreted in depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-579
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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