Interactions of corticotropin-releasing ractor, urocortin and citalopram in a primate model of stress-induced amenorrhea

Karin V. Weissheimer, Skyla M. Herod, Judy L. Cameron, Cynthia L. Bethea

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations


    Background/Aims: We established a cynomolgus macaque model of stress-induced amenorrhea in which the application of combined metabolic and psychosocial stress suppressed ovulation in stress-sensitive (SS) individuals, but not in highly stress-resilient (HSR) individuals. We previously reported that SS monkeys have deficits in global serotonin release and serotonin-related gene expression in the raphe nucleus, and that administration of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor S-citalopram increased estrogen and progesterone production in SS monkeys. In this study, we questioned whether there was a difference in corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) or urocortin (UCN) stress-related peptide systems in the midbrain raphe region when HSR and SS monkeys treated with placebo or S-citalopram are compared. Methods: Monkeys characterized as HSR or SS were administered placebo or S-citalopram for 15 weeks. CRF fibers in the dorsal raphe were detected with an antibody against human CRF. UCN1 fibers were immunostained in an area rostral to the dorsal raphe. The fibers were quantified by stereology and analyzed by two-way ANOVA. UCN1 cell bodies were counted in the supraoculomotor area near the Edinger-Westphal nucleus. Results: S-citalopram significantly decreased the CRF fiber density in SS animals, but not in HSR animals. SS monkeys had a significantly lower UCN1 fiber density compared to HSR monkeys, but S-citalopram treatment did not alter the UCN1 fiber density. SS animals treated with S-citalopram tended to have a higher number of UCN1-positive cell bodies than the other groups. Conclusion: S-citalopram decreased CRF fiber density and appears to increase the production of UCN1 in SS individuals, indicating the likelihood that serotonin is involved in regulating CRF and UCN1 in individuals who are sensitive to the effects of serotonin.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)224-234
    Number of pages11
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 2010


    • Corticotropin-releasing factor
    • Dorsal raphe
    • Macaques
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
    • Serotonin
    • Stress
    • Urocortin I

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Endocrinology
    • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
    • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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