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Gastroenterology. 2002 Aug;123(2):505-15.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone antagonists possess anti-inflammatory effects in the mouse ileum.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) released at local sites of inflammation promotes inflammation in the periphery. We investigated its effects in the intestinal responses caused by toxin A from Clostridium difficile, the causative agent of antibiotic-associated colitis.


Ileal loops were injected with 10 microg of toxin A, and enterotoxic responses were measured at various time points.


Pretreatment of mice with 2.5 microg/kg of the CRH receptor antagonist alpha-helical CRH((9-41)) that blocks both CRH receptor subtypes reduced toxin A-mediated ileal secretion, epithelial cell damage, mucosal edema, neutrophil infiltration, and mucosal content of interleukin 1 beta and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Pretreatment with the specific CRH(1) receptor antagonist antalarmin (20 mg/kg, IP) also inhibited toxin A-induced fluid secretion and toxin A-associated histologic changes. CRH messenger RNA and protein were increased in mouse ileum 30 minutes after intraluminal toxin A administration. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that toxin A at 1 hour caused a substantial increase in the expression of both CRH receptor subtypes in the ileal mucosa.


Peripheral CRH may play a proinflammatory role in toxin A-induced intestinal secretion and inflammation and that CRH(1) receptor, at least in part, is important in the mediation of these responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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