Alcohol use and abuse appear to be related to neuroadaptive changes at functional, neurochemical, and structural levels. Acute and chronic ethanol exposure have been shown to modulate function of the activity-dependent gene transcription factor, cAMP-responsive element binding (CREB) protein in the brain, which may be associated with the development of alcoholism.
BACKGROUND: Early life stress (ELS) experience is associated with persisting working memory (WM) deficits; changes to the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) system; and structural, functional, and epigenetic changes in the hippocampus. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the CRH receptor 1 (CRHR1) gene interact with ELS experience to predict depression as well as neuroendocrine and neuronal reactivity.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The present review aims to deliver a systematic overview of current developments and trends in (epi)genetics of anxiety and to identify upcoming challenges and opportunities. RECENT FINDINGS: Genes related to peptide and hormone signaling have been suggested for anxiety-related phenotypes, e.g., the NPSR1 gene, which has been associated predominantly with panic disorder in women, and shown to interact with environmental factors and to influence psychometric, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging correlates of anxiety.
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is a key neuroendocrine factor implementing endocrine, immune and behavioral responses to stress. CRH exerts its action through two major receptors, CRH-R1 and CRH-R2. Recently novel non-peptidic antagonists directed against CRH-R1 or CRH-R2 have been proposed as promising agents in the treatment of depression, anxiety and eating disorder. However, so far the CRH-receptor system has not been widely studied in humans.
BACKGROUND: The importance of bi-directional brain-gut interactions in gastrointestinal illness is increasingly being recognized, most prominently in the area of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Numerous current and emerging therapies aimed at normalizing brain-gut interactions are a focus of interest, particularly for irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia. METHODS: A literature search was completed for preclinical and clinical studies related to central modulation of gastrointestinal functions and published in English between 1980 and 2006.
American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Visceral hypersensitivity has been implicated as an important pathophysiological mechanism in functional gastrointestinal disorders. In this study, we investigated whether the sustained visceral hyperalgesia induced by repeated psychological stress in rats involves the activation of CRF(1) signaling system using two different antagonists. Male Wistar rats were exposed to 10 consecutive days of water avoidance stress (WAS) or sham stress for 1 h/day, and the visceromotor response to phasic colorectal distension (CRD) was assessed before and after the stress period.