Corticotropin-Releasing Factor: Cerebrospinal Fluid Studies
Cerebrospinal fluid is in direct communication with the extracellular fluid of the brain and moderate amounts of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are quickly replaced. In a series of studies, the authors' laboratory document increased CSF concentrations of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) in several geographically diverse populations of patients with DSM-III diagnoses of major depression. In collaboration with Fink at Stony Brook, the authors measure CSF CRF concentrations in depressed patients before and after a regimen of electroconvulsive shock therapy. M. A. Kling et al. have reported that patients with Cushing's disease had decreased CSF concentrations of CRF compared to patients with a DSM-III diagnosis of major depression or controls. Klimek et al. have reported that CSF concentrations of CRF are reduced in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis when compared to controls with discopathy. Although the precise central nervous system source of CRF in CSF remains obscure, alterations in CRF concentrations of CSF have been observed in several pathologic states.