Autocrine or paracrine inflammatory actions of corticotropin-releasing hormone in vivo

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Science  18 Oct 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5030, pp. 421-423
DOI: 10.1126/science.1925600


Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) functions as a regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and coordinator of the stress response. CRH receptors exist in peripheral sites of the immune system, and CRH promotes several immune functions in vitro. The effect of systemic immunoneutralization of CRH was tested in an experimental model of chemically induced aseptic inflammation in rats. Intraperitoneal administration of rabbit antiserum to CRH caused suppression of both inflammatory exudate volume and cell concentration by approximately 50 to 60 percent. CRH was detected in the inflamed area but not in the systemic circulation. Immunoreactive CRH is therefore produced in peripheral inflammatory sites where, in contrast to its systemic indirect immunosuppressive effects, it acts as an autocrine or paracrine inflammatory cytokine.

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