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      Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone: Interactions with the Immune System

      b , a

      Neuroimmunomodulation

      S. Karger AG

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          Abstract

          Communication between the neuroendocrine and immune systems is crucial to host defence in both health and disease. Stress adversely interferes with the function of the immune system but the mechanism of such stress-induced immunosuppression is not well understood. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is a 41-amino residue peptide which primarily stimulates ACTH secretion. In addition, CRH integrates a series of responses during the stress response. Over the last few years increasing evidence has suggested that CRH, the major stress-integrating peptide, may also directly modulate immune system function. Thus, recent data have demonstrated that CRH acts centrally as an immunosuppressant agent independent of circulating glucocorticoids. This central immunosuppressive effect of CRH is mediated at least partly via the central stimulation of sympathetic outflow. At a peripheral level, the presence of CRH and CRH receptors within cells of the immune system, and its complex effects directly on immune function, suggest that CRH is intimately associated with communication between the neuroendocrine and immune systems.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NIM
          Neuroimmunomodulation
          10.1159/issn.1021-7401
          Neuroimmunomodulation
          S. Karger AG
          1021-7401
          1423-0216
          1994
          1994
          06 April 1995
          : 1
          : 6
          : 329-334
          Affiliations
          aDepartment of Endocrinology, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, UK; bDepartment of Endocrinology, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece
          Article
          97184 Neuroimmunomodulation 1994;1:329–334
          10.1159/000097184
          7671120
          © 1994 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Pages: 6
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