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Corticotropin-releasing factor requires CRF binding protein to potentiate NMDA receptors via CRF receptor 2 in dopamine neurons.

Authors: Ungless, MA  Singh, V  Crowder, TL  Yaka, R  Ron, D  Bonci, A 
Citation: Ungless MA, etal., Neuron. 2003 Jul 31;39(3):401-7.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:12895416

Stress increases addictive behaviors and is a common cause of relapse. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) plays a key role in the modulation of drug taking by stress. However, the mechanism by which CRF modulates neuronal activity in circuits involved in drug addiction is poorly understood. Here we show that CRF induces a potentiation of NMDAR (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor)-mediated synaptic transmission in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This effect involves CRF receptor 2 (CRF-R2) and activation of the phospholipase C (PLC)-protein kinase C (PKC) pathway. We also find that this potentiation requires CRF binding protein (CRF-BP). Accordingly, CRF-like peptides, which do not bind the CRF-BP with high affinity, do not potentiate NMDARs. These results provide evidence of the first specific roles for CRF-R2 and CRF-BP in the modulation of neuronal activity and suggest that NMDARs in the VTA may be a target for both drugs of abuse and stress.

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RGD Object Information
RGD ID: 8553912
Created: 2014-05-08
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2014-05-08
Status: ACTIVE



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RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.