Age-related changes in central effects of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) suggest a role for this mediator in aging anorexia and cachexia

Judit Tenk, Ildikó Rostás, Nóra Füredi, Alexandra Mikó, Margit Solymár, Szilvia Soós, Balázs Gaszner, Diana Feller, Miklós Székely, Erika Pétervári, Márta Balaskó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) lays downstream to catabolic melanocortins and at least partly mediates their catabolic effects. Age-related changes in the melanocortin system (weak responsiveness in middle-aged and a strong one in old rats) have been shown to contribute to middle-aged obesity and later to aging anorexia and cachexia of old age groups. We hypothesized that catabolic (anorexigenic and hypermetabolic) CRF effects vary with aging similarly to those of melanocortins. Thus, we aimed to test whether age-related variations of CRF effects may also contribute to middle-aged obesity and aging anorexia leading to weight loss of old age groups. Food intake, body weight, core temperature, heart rate, and activity were recorded in male Wistar rats of young, middle-aged, aging, and old age groups (from 3 to 24 months) during a 7-day intracerebroventricular CRF infusion (0.2 μg/μl/h) in a biotelemetric system. In addition, CRF gene expression was also assessed by quantitative RT-PCR in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of intact animals of the same age groups. The infusion suppressed body weight in the young, aging, and old rats, but not in middle-aged animals. Weak anorexigenic and hypermetabolic effects were detected in the young, whereas strong anorexia (without hypermetabolism) developed in the oldest age groups in which post mortem analysis showed also a reduction of retroperitoneal fat mass. CRF gene expression in the PVN increased with aging. Our results support the potential contribution of age-related changes in CRF effects to aging anorexia and cachexia. The role of the peptide in middle-aged obesity cannot be confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Aging
  • Core temperature
  • Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)
  • Energy homeostasis
  • Food intake
  • Wistar rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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