Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010 May;35(6):1241-52. doi: 10.1038/npp.2009.209. Epub 2010 Feb 3.

CRF-1 antagonist and CRF-2 agonist decrease binge-like ethanol drinking in C57BL/6J mice independent of the HPA axis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


Recent evidence suggests that corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptor (CRFR) signaling is involved in modulating binge-like ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice. In this report, a series of experiments were performed to further characterize the role of CRFR signaling in binge-like ethanol consumption. The role of central CRFR signaling was assessed with intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of the nonselective CRFR antagonist, alpha-helical CRF(9-41) (0, 1, 5, 10 microg/1 microl). The contribution of central CRF type 2 receptor (CRF(2)R) signaling was assessed with i.c.v. infusion of the selective CRF(2)R agonist, urocortin (Ucn) 3 (0, 0.05, 0.1, or 0.5 microg/1 microl). The role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was assessed by pretreating mice with intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of (1) the corticosterone synthesis inhibitor, metyrapone (0, 50, 100, 150 mg/kg) or (2) the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, mifepristone (0, 25, 50 mg/kg), and (3) by using radioimmunoassay to determine whether binge-like ethanol intake influenced plasma corticosterone levels. Finally, we determined whether the ability of the CRF(1)R antagonist, CP-154,526 (CP; 0, 10, 15 mg/kg, i.p.), to blunt binge-like drinking required normal HPA axis signaling by comparing the effectiveness of CP in adrenalectomized (ADX) and normal mice. Results showed that i.c.v. infusion of a 1 microg dose of alpha-helical CRF(9-41) significantly attenuated binge-like ethanol consumption relative to vehicle treatment, and i.c.v. infusion of Ucn 3 dose-dependently blunted binge-like drinking. On the other hand, metyrapone nonselectively reduced both ethanol and sucrose consumption, mifepristone did not alter ethanol drinking, and binge-like drinking did not correlate with plasma corticosterone levels. Finally, i.p. injection of CP significantly attenuated binge-like ethanol intake in both ADX and normal mice. Together, these results suggest that binge-like ethanol intake in C57BL/6J mice is modulated by CRF(1)R and CRF(2)R signaling, such that blockade of CRF(1)R or activation of CRF(2)R effectively reduces excessive ethanol intake. Furthermore, normal HPA axis signaling is not necessary to achieve binge-like drinking behavior.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Grant Support

Publication Types

MeSH Terms


Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk