The role of corticotropin-releasing factor in the pathophysiology of depression: Implications for antidepressant mechanisms of action

Elizabeth I. Martin, Charles B. Nemeroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

An overwhelming and ever-growing literature support the hypothesis that the CRF-ergic neurons, including extrahypothalamic as well as HPA axis components, represent a seminal stress-response system, which plays a causal role in the etiology of affective and anxiety disorders. Data have also demonstrated a role for CRF-ergic circuitry in the mechanism of action of current antidepressant therapies. The temporal sequence of symptom improvement during treatment with these agents more closely matches normalization of CRF-ergic signaling and HPA axis functioning than their primary effects on monoaminergic systems. Moreover, CRF1 antagonists are known to possess antidepressant and anxiolytic properties and likely represent a novel class of antidepressants/anxiolytics that may be used both in monotherapy as well as in combination with currently available treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Annals
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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