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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2002 May;301(2):611-7.

Differential actions of peripheral corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), urocortin II, and urocortin III on gastric emptying and colonic transit in mice: role of CRF receptor subtypes 1 and 2.

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Center for Ulcer Research and Education: Digestive Diseases Research Center, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Department of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, USA.


Peripheral CRF inhibits gastric emptying and stimulates colonic motor function in rats. We investigated the role of CRF(1) and CRF(2) receptors in i.p. CRF-induced alterations of gut transit in conscious mice using selective CRF(1) and CRF(2) ligands injected i.p. Gastric emptying 2 h after ingestion of a solid chow meal and colonic transit (time to expel a bead inserted into the distal colon) were determined simultaneously. Rat/human (r/h)CRF, which has CRF(1) > CRF(2) binding affinity, decreased distal colonic transit time at lower doses (6-12 microg/kg) than those inhibiting gastric emptying (20-60 microg/kg). Ovine CRF, a preferential CRF(1) receptor agonist (6-60 microg/kg), reduced significantly the colonic transit time without altering gastric emptying, whereas the selective CRF(2) receptor agonists mouse urocortin II (20-60 microg/kg) and urocortin III (120 microg/kg) inhibited significantly gastric emptying without modifying colonic transit. The CRF(1)/CRF(2) receptor antagonist, astressin (30-120 microg/kg), dose dependently prevented r/hCRF (20 microg/kg)-induced inhibition of gastric emptying and reduction of colonic transit time. The selective CRF(1) receptor antagonists, NBI-27914 (C(18)H(20)Cl(4)N(4)C(7)H(8)O(3)S) and CP-154,526 (butyl-[2,5-dimethyl-7-(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)-7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-yl]ethylamine) (5-30 mg/kg), dose dependently blocked r/hCRF action on the colon without influencing the gastric response, whereas the CRF(2) receptor antagonist, antisauvagine-30 (30-100 microg/kg), dose dependently abolished r/hCRF-induced delayed gastric emptying and had no effect on colonic response. These data show that i.p. r/hCRF-induced opposite actions on upper and lower gut transit in conscious mice are mediated by different CRF receptor subtypes: the activation of CRF(1) receptors stimulates colonic propulsive activity, whereas activation of CRF(2) receptors inhibits gastric emptying.

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