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Stress and the gastrointestinal tract III. Stress-related alterations of gut motor function: role of brain corticotropin-releasing factor receptors.

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CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Bldg. 115, Rm. 203, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.


Alterations of gastrointestinal (GI) motor function are part of the visceral responses to stress. Inhibition of gastric emptying and stimulation of colonic motor function are the commonly encountered patterns induced by various stressors. Activation of brain corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptors mediates stress-related inhibition of upper GI and stimulation of lower GI motor function through interaction with different CRF receptor subtypes. CRF subtype 1 receptors are involved in the colonic and anxiogenic responses to stress and may have clinical relevance in the comorbidity of anxiety/depression and irritable bowel syndrome.

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