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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 May 4;107(18):8393-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003969107. Epub 2010 Apr 19.

Perifornical Urocortin-3 mediates the link between stress-induced anxiety and energy homeostasis.

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Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


In response to physiological or psychological challenges, the brain activates behavioral and neuroendocrine systems linked to both metabolic and emotional outputs designed to adapt to the demand. However, dysregulation of integration of these physiological responses to challenge can have severe psychological and physiological consequences, and inappropriate regulation, disproportional intensity, or chronic or irreversible activation of the stress response is linked to the etiology and pathophysiology of mood and metabolic disorders. Using a transgenic mouse model and lentiviral approach, we demonstrate the involvement of the hypothalamic neuropeptide Urocortin-3, a specific ligand for the type-2 corticotropin-releasing factor receptor, in modulating septal and hypothalamic nuclei responsible for anxiety-like behaviors and metabolic functions, respectively. These results position Urocortin-3 as a neuromodulator linking stress-induced anxiety and energy homeostasis and pave the way toward better understanding of the mechanisms that mediate the reciprocal relationships between stress, mood and metabolic disorders.

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