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Differential effects of the CRF-R1 antagonist GSK876008 on fear-potentiated, light- and CRF-enhanced startle suggest preferential involvement in sustained vs phasic threat responses.

Abstract
The amplitude of the acoustic startle response is increased when elicited in the presence of brief cues that predict shock (fear-potentiated startle) and also when elicited during sustained exposure to bright light (light-enhanced startle). Although both effects are thought to reflect fear or anxiety, their neuroanatomical substrates differ. Although fear-potentiated startle is disrupted by reversible inactivation of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) but not the closely related bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), light-enhanced startle is disrupted by BNST inactivation but not by CeA inactivation. Intraventricular infusions of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) also increase startle (CRF-enhanced startle) and this effect is mediated by CRF receptors within the BNST, with no involvement of the CeA. Together, these observations suggest that CeA- and BNST-dependent fear and anxiety may be differentially sensitive to CRF receptor blockade. We tested this by orally administering the novel, potent, and selective CRF-R1 antagonist GSK876008 to rats before CRF-enhanced, light-enhanced, or fear-potentiated startle testing. GSK876008 disrupted CRF-enhanced startle with a linear dose-response curve, and light-enhanced startle with a U-shaped dose-response curve, but did not disrupt fear-potentiated startle to a visual stimulus at any dose tested, and even augmented the response in some animals. GSK876008 also disrupted shock-related 'baseline' startle increases, which may have reflected context conditioning (shown elsewhere to also be BNST-dependent). Overall, these results suggest that short-duration CeA-dependent threat responses can be pharmacologically dissociated from longer duration BNST-dependent responses in terms of their sensitivity to CRF1 receptor antagonists.
AuthorsDavid Walker, Yong Yang, Emiliangelo Ratti, Mauro Corsi, David Trist, Michael Davis
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (Neuropsychopharmacology) Vol. 34 Issue 6 Pg. 1533-42 (May 2009) ISSN: 1740-634X [Electronic] United States
PMID19078950 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • CRF receptor type 1
  • GSK876008
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Methylcellulose
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
Topics
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (metabolism)
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Light
  • Male
  • Methylcellulose (analogs & derivatives, pharmacology)
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (antagonists & inhibitors)
  • Reflex, Startle (drug effects)

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