The CRF system, stress, depression and anxietyinsights from human genetic studies

E. B. Binder, C. B. Nemeroff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

245 Scopus citations


A concatenation of findings from preclinical and clinical studies support a preeminent function for the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system in mediating the physiological response to external stressors and in the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression. Recently, human genetic studies have provided considerable support to several long-standing hypotheses of mood and anxiety disorders, including the CRF hypothesis. These data, reviewed in this report, are congruent with the hypothesis that this system is of paramount importance in mediating stress-related psychopathology. More specifically, variants in the gene encoding the CRF 1 receptor interact with adverse environmental factors to predict risk for stress-related psychiatric disorders. In-depth characterization of these variants will likely be important in furthering our understanding of the long-term consequences of adverse experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-588
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Anxiety
  • CRF
  • CRH
  • Depression
  • Genetic
  • Receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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