Antagonism of specific corticotropin-releasing factor receptor subtypes selectively modifies weight loss in restrained rats

Christina Chotiwat, Ruth B.S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Rats exposed to 3 h of restraint stress on each of 3 days (RRS) lose weight on the days of RRS and gain weight at the same rate as controls after stress ends, but do not return to the weight of controls. RRS rats also show an exaggerated endocrine response to subsequent novel stressors. Studies described here tested the effects of corticotropin-releasing factor receptor (CRFR) antagonism on RRS-induced weight loss, hypophagia, and corticosterone release during mild stress in the postrestraint period. Weight loss was not prevented by either peripheral or third-ventricle administration of a CRFR1 antagonist, antalarmin, before each restraint. Antalarmin did, however, allow recovery of body weight in the poststress period. Third-ventricle administration of a CRFR2 antagonist, antisauvagine 30, had no effect in RRS rats but caused sustained weight loss in control animals. Surprisingly, third-ventricle administration of the nonselective CRFR antagonist, astressin, caused hypophagia and reversible weight loss in control rats. It had no effect in RRS rats. None of the antagonists modified the corticosterone response to RRS or to mild stress in the post-RRS period, but antalarmin suppressed corticosterone during the period of restraint in Control rats. These results suggest that CRFR1 activation is required for the initiation of events that lead to a prolonged down-regulation of body weight in RRS rats. The sustained reduction in body weight is independent of the severity of hypophagia on the days of restraint and of RRS-induced corticosterone release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1762-R1773
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Body weight
  • Food intake
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis
  • Third ventricle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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