Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) is the central modulator of the mammalian hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In addition, CRH affects other processes in the brain including learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, CRH has been shown to play a role in nerve cell survival under apoptotic conditions and to serve as an endogenous neuroprotectant in vitro. Employing mice overexpressing murine CRH in the CNS, we observed a differential response of CRH-overexpressing mice (CRH-COEhom-Nes) to acute excitotoxic stress induced by kainate compared with controls (CRH-COEcon-Nes). Interestingly, CRH-overexpression reduced the duration of epileptic seizures and prevented kainate-induced neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in the hippocampus. Our findings highlight a neuroprotective action of CRH in vivo. This neuroprotective effect was accompanied by increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in CRH-COEhom-Nes mice, suggesting a potential role for BDNF in mediating CRH-induced neuroprotective actions against acute excitotoxicity in vivo.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Oct 15 2008|
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