, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 147–152 | Cite as

Corticotropin-releasing factor potentiates acoustic startle in rats: Blockade by chlordiazepoxide

  • N. R. Swerdlow
  • M. A. Geyer
  • W. W. Vale
  • G. F. Koob
Original Investigations


A series of experiments was performed to investigate the effects of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) on the amplitude of the acoustic startle response (ASR) in rats. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of 1 μg rat CRF significantly potentiated acoustic startle amplitude; these effects were reversed in a dose-dependent manner by pretreatment with the benzodiazepine chlordiazepoxide (CDP). Doses of CDP that anatgonized CRF-potentiated ASR did not lower startle baseline or antagonize amphetamine-or strychnine-potentiated ASR. These results suggest that CRF has “anxiogenic” properties and may serve as a neuroendocrine modulator of stress-enhanced behaviors.

Key words

Corticotropin-releasing factor Startle Chlordiazepoxide Anxiety Strychnine Amphetamine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. R. Swerdlow
    • 1
  • M. A. Geyer
    • 2
  • W. W. Vale
    • 3
  • G. F. Koob
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, Medical Scientist Training ProgramUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.The Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide BiologyThe Salk InstituteLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.Division of Preclinical Neuroscience and EndocrinologyScripps Clinic and Research FoundationLa JollaUSA

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