Previous studies have indicated that intracerebroventricular application of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) activates noradrenergic neurons in the brain stem locus coeruleus (LC) and norepinephrine (NE) metabolism in several brain regions. To assess whether CRF has direct effects on LC noradrenergic neurons, CRF was infused into the LC and concentrations of NE and its metabolites were measured in microdialysates collected from the medial prefrontal cortex (PFM). Infusion of 100 ng of CRF into the LC significantly increased dialysate concentrations of NE and of its catabolite MHPG in the ipsilateral PFM, whereas no significant changes were observed following infusion of artificial CSF. No response was observed when the infusions of CRF occurred outside of the LC, including those in the parabrachial nucleus. Although CRF administered into the LC slightly increased dialysate concentrations of NE in the contralateral PFM, this effect was not statistically significant. The effect of CRF injected into the LC on dialysate NE was prevented by combination with a 10-fold excess of the CRF antagonist, alpha-helical CRF 9–41 indicating some specificity in the response. These results are consistent with anatomical and electrophysiological evidence suggesting that CRF may directly activate noradrenergic neurons in or close to the LC.
Brain Research Bulletin – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 1995
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