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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Systemic adrenocorticotropic hormone administration down-regulates the expression of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and CRH-binding protein in infant rat hippocampus.

Systemic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) administration is a first-line therapy for the treatment of infantile spasms, an age-specific seizure disorder of infancy. It is proposed that exogenous ACTH acts via negative feedback to suppress the synthesis of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a possible endogenous convulsant in infant brain tissue. The aim of this study was to determine whether systemic ACTH treatment in infant rats down-regulates the hippocampal CRH system, including CRH, CRH- binding protein (CRH-BP), and CRH receptors (CRH-R1 and CRH-R2). Daily i.p. injection of ACTH for 7 consecutive days (postnatal days 3-9) elevated serum corticosterone levels 20-fold measured on postnatal day 10, indicating systemic absorption and circulation of the ACTH. Semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR demonstrated that both CRH and CRH-BP mRNA obtained from the hippocampi of ACTH-injected infant rats was significantly depressed relative to saline-injected animals. Comparable reductions in both CRH and CRH-BP synthesis were further demonstrated with radioimmunoassay. In contrast, neither CRH-R1 nor CRH-R2 mRNA was altered by ACTH treatment, relative to saline-injected rats. This latter finding was confirmed electrophysiologically by measuring the enhancement of hippocampal population spikes by exogenous CRH, also showing no differences between ACTH- and saline-injected rats. The results of this study support the proposal that systemic ACTH treatment down-regulates CRH expression in infant brain, perhaps contributing to the therapeutic efficacy observed during treatment of infantile spasms.[1]

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