Journal Article Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 1 and type 2 interaction in irritable bowel syndrome

野津, 司  ,  奥村, 利勝

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) displays chronic abdominal pain or discomfort with altered defecation, and stress-induced altered gut motility and visceral sensation play an important role in the pathophysiology. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is a main mediator of stress responses and mediates these gastrointestinal functional changes. CRF in brain and periphery acts through two subtype receptors such as CRF receptor type 1 (CRF1) and type 2 (CRF2), and activating CRF1 exclusively stimulates colonic motor function and induces visceral hypersensitivity. Meanwhile, several recent studies have demonstrated that CRF2 has a counter regulatory action against CRF1, which may imply that CRF2 inhibits stress response induced by CRF1 in order to prevent it from going into an overdrive state. Colonic contractility and sensation may be explained by the state of the intensity of CRF1 signaling. CRF2 signaling may play a role in CRF1-triggered enhanced colonic functions through modulation of CRF1 activity. Blocking CRF2 further enhances CRF-induced stimulation of colonic contractility and activating CRF2 inhibits stress-induced visceral sensitization. Therefore, we proposed the hypothesis, i.e., balance theory of CRF1 and CRF2 signaling as follows. Both CRF receptors may be activated simultaneously and the signaling balance of CRF1 and CRF2 may determine the functional changes of gastrointestinal tract induced by stress. CRF signaling balance might be abnormally shifted toward CRF1, leading to enhanced colonic motility and visceral sensitization in IBS. This theory may lead to understanding the pathophysiology and provide the novel therapeutic options targeting altered signaling balance of CRF1 and CRF2 in IBS.

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