Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Peptides. 2004 Oct;25(10):1711-21.

Urocortins and corticotropin releasing factor type 2 receptors in the hypothalamus and the cardiovascular system.

Author information

  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nephrology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi University, Okoh-cho, Nankoku, Kochi 783-8505, Japan.


In addition to urocortin (Ucn I), Ucn II and Ucn III were identified as endogenous ligands for corticotropin-releasing factor type 2 receptor (CRF2 receptor). CRF2 receptor is abundantly located in central hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMH) and in peripheral cardiovascular system. In this mini-review, we focused on the roles of these urocortins and CRF2 receptor in the hypothalamus and the cardiovascular system. Ucn II mRNA was increased in the parvocellular part or the magnocellular part of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) following immobilization stress or 3 days of water deprivation, respectively. Therefore, it is thought that Ucn II may modulate CRF and vasopressin synthesis in the PVN in a paracrine or autocrine fashion through PVN CRF2 receptor. The early and later phases of Ucn I-mediated feeding suppression may be CRF1 and CRF2 receptor-mediated events, respectively. Ucn II decreases food intake at a later phase, beyond 4 h post injection. A large dose of corticosterone increased plasma leptin and insulin levels as well as the levels of CRF2 receptor mRNA. Adrenalectomy, starvation, and immobilization each lowered plasma leptin and insulin levels and were associated with decrements in CRF2 receptor mRNA levels in the VMH. Peripheral injection of leptin increased VMH CRF2 receptor mRNA, as can induce reductions of food intake and body weight, indicating that circulating leptin is involved in the regulation of VMH CRF2 receptor mRNA expression. Therefore, it is also plausible that VMH CRF2 receptor transduces the anorexogenic effects of leptin as well as those of urocortins. The systemic administration of Ucn II decreases mean arterial pressure (arterial vascular tone) and causes tachycardia via vascular CRF2 receptor in rats, similar to the effects of Ucn I. Thus, CRF2 receptor seems to mediate cardioprotective effects of urocortins.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk