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Table of Contents
Vol. 60, No. 4, 1994
Issue release date: 1994
Section title: Clinical Neuroendocrinologγ
Neuroendocrinology 1994;60:436–444
(DOI:10.1159/000126778)

Increased Numbers of Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Expressing Neurons in the Hypothalamic Paraventricular Nucleus of Depressed Patients

Raadsheer F.C.a · Hoogendijk W.J.G.a,b · Stam F.C.c · Tilders F.J.H.d · Swaab D.F.a
aNetherlands Institute for Brain Research; bValerius Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, Free University; cNetherlands Brain Bank; dResearch Institute Neurosciences Vrije Universiteit, Medical Faculty, Department of Pharmacology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Neuroendocrinologγ

Received: February 03, 1994
Accepted: May 27, 1994
Published online: April 09, 2008
Issue release date: 1994

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0028-3835 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0194 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEN

Abstract

The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is known to be activated in depressed patients. Although direct evidence is lacking, this activation is hypothesized to be due to hyperactivity of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Recent immunocytochemical studies in experimental animals and in humans showed that the number of CRH-expressing neurons correlated with the activity of these neurons. In addition, colocalization of AVP in CRH neurons has been shown to be an index for the secretory activity. Therefore, we estimated the total number of CRH-immunoreactive neurons and their fraction showing colocalization with AVP in the PVN of 10 control subjects and of 6 depressed patients who were diagnosed to be suffering from a major depression or a bipolar disorder. The mean total number of CRH-expressing neurons of the 6 depressed patients was four times higher, and the number of CRH neurons co-expressing AVP was almost three times higher than those in the control group. We also determined the two activity parameters of CRH neurons in the PVN of 2 subjects with a depressive organic mood syndrome or a depressive disorder not otherwise specified. In these two ‘non-major depressed’ subjects, the activity parameters of CRH neurons were comparable to those of control subjects. Our observations strongly support the hypothesis that CRH neurons in the PVN are hyperactivated in major depressed patients. This hyperactivity might be causally related to at least part of the symptomatology of depression.

© 1994 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Neuroendocrinologγ

Received: February 03, 1994
Accepted: May 27, 1994
Published online: April 09, 2008
Issue release date: 1994

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0028-3835 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0194 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEN


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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