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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: 2/3/1994
Accepted: 5/27/1994
Published online: 4/9/2008
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


  

Author Contacts

F.C. Raadsheer, Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Meibergdreef 33, NL-1105 AZ Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

  

Article Information

Received: February 3, 1994
Accepted after revision: May 27, 1994
Published online: April 09, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 9

  

Publication Details

Neuroendocrinology (International Journal for Basic and Clinical Studies on Neuroendocrine Relationships)

Vol. 60, No. 4, Year 1994 (Cover Date: 1994)

Journal Editor: Millar R.P. (Edinburgh)
ISSN: 0028–3835 (Print), eISSN: 1423–0194 (Online)

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


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Neuroendocrinologγ

Received: 2/3/1994
Accepted: 5/27/1994
Published online: 4/9/2008
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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