Corticotropin-releasing factor: endocrine and autonomic integration of responses to stress.
- PubMed: 2667228
Corticotropin-releasing factor, a 41-residue peptide, is established as the principal physiological regulator of the pituitary-adrenal axis. The neuroanatomic distribution of corticotropin-releasing factor and its receptors suggests that this peptide may be a neurotransmitter in pathways outside the hypophysiotropic zone. Indeed, corticotropin-releasing factor demonstrates potent neuropharmacological actions that are independent of its pituitary effects. Laurel Fisher reviews the combined anatomical, pharmacological and physiological evidence that supports a role for corticotropin-releasing factor in mediating the integrated endocrine, autonomic and cardiovascular responses to stress.