Anatomy of melancholia: focus on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis overactivity and the role of vasopressin.
AffiliationDepartment of Psychiatry and Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Cork University, Hospital, Ireland. email@example.com
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CitationJ Anat. 2005 Sep;207(3):259-64.
JournalJournal of anatomy
AbstractOveractivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis characterized by hypercortisolism, adrenal hyperplasia and abnormalities in negative feedback is the most consistently described biological abnormality in melancholic depression. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) are the main secretagogues of the HPA/stress system. Produced in the parvicellular division of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus the release of these peptides is influenced by inputs from monoaminergic neurones. In depression, anterior pituitary CRH1 receptors are down-regulated and response to CRH infusion is blunted. By contrast, vasopressin V3 receptors on the anterior pituitary show enhanced response to AVP stimulation and this enhancement plays a key role in maintaining HPA overactivity.