According to a study in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers have covered new ground on the previously established link between the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system and alcohol withdrawal.
The findings indicate that CRF is developed through neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala but may not play a major role in alcohol withdrawal or dependence as previously believed.
“In the present study, we hypothesized that CeA CRF interneurons may represent a behaviorally relevant source of CRF to the CeA increasing motivation for alcohol via negative reinforcement,” the journal report states.
“We first observed that Crh mRNA expression in the anterior part of the mouse CeA correlates positively with alcohol intake in C57BL/6J males with a history of chronic binge drinking followed by abstinence and increases upon exposure to chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) vapor inhalation.”
“We then found that chemogenetic activation of CeA CRF neurons in Crh-IRES-Cre mouse brain slices increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release in the medial CeA, in part via CRF1 receptor activation,” it also states.
Overall, the findings demonstrated just how perplexing the CRF system is and the neurocircuitry changes that may occur after chronic alcoholism.