, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 236–245 | Cite as

The corticotropin releasing factor system in the liver: expression, actions and possible implications in hepatic physiology and pathology

  • Konstantinos A. Paschos
  • Efterpi Chouridou
  • Maria Koureta
  • Maria Lambropoulou
  • George Kolios
  • Ekaterini ChatzakiEmail author
Mini Review


The corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system plays a crucial regulatory role in the adaptation to exogenous and endogenous stress stimuli, as well as homeostasis. Apart from the central nervous system (CNS), the members of this neuropeptide family extend their actions in the periphery, where they may affect various body systems independently, stimulating peripheral CRF receptors via vagal and/or autocrine/paracrine pathways. Here, we review all findings concerning the expression and role of the CRF system in human liver, but also in other species. Direct and indirect regulatory data are also analyzed in order to draw conclusions about possible physiological/pathophysiological implications. Although data supporting any clinical significance are still limited and further research in the field is necessary, scientific interest in the CRF system is particularly active, with multiple ongoing clinical studies evaluating the activity of CRF ligands in medical conditions involving other organs. Thus, new knowledge with therapeutic potential appears to be steadily accumulating.

Key words

Cancer Corticotropin Releasing Factor Hepatic Liver Neuropeptide Receptor Urocortin 


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos A. Paschos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Efterpi Chouridou
    • 1
  • Maria Koureta
    • 1
  • Maria Lambropoulou
    • 3
  • George Kolios
    • 1
  • Ekaterini Chatzaki
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Pharmacology, Faculty of MedicineDemocritus University of Thrace, DraganaAlexandroupolis, ThraceGreece
  2. 2.Department of General Surgery, General Hospital of DramaDemocritus University of ThraceAlexandroupolisGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Histology-Embryology, Faculty of MedicineDemocritus University of ThraceAlexandroupolisGreece

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