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Am J Psychiatry. 1984 May;141(5):619-27.

Psychiatric implications of basic and clinical studies with corticotropin-releasing factor.


Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is a newly sequenced neuropeptide thought to be a principal stimulus to pituitary corticotropin (ACTH) secretion. Evidence obtained from laboratory animals and primates is reviewed which indicates that CRF not only stimulates the pituitary-adrenal axis but also influences several aspects of CNS function which may be of relevance to psychiatric illness. Clinically, experience in administering ovine CRF to more than 150 individuals shows that CRF can be helpful in resolving differential diagnostic dilemmas in patients with various disorders of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and in furthering an understanding of the pathophysiology of conditions such as Cushing's disease and depression.

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