Background & Aims: The corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 mediates stress-induced changes in colonic motor activity and emotion. We tested the hypothesis that pretreatment with JTC-017, a specific corticotropin- releasing hormone receptor 1 antagonist, blocks colorectal distention-induced hippocampal noradrenaline release and visceral perception in rats. We also investigated whether pretreatment with JTC-017 blocks acute or chronic colorectal distention-induced adrenocorticotropic hormone release, anxiety, and stress-induced changes in colonic motility. Methods: Rats were pretreated intrahippocampally with α-helical corticotropin-releasing hormone (1.25 μg/kg; vehicle), a nonspecific corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor antagonist, or intraperitoneally with JTC-017 (10 mg/kg). Hippocampal noradrenaline release after microdialysis and the frequency of abdominal contractions were measured in response to acute colorectal distention. Plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone levels, anxiety-related behavior, and stress-induced changes in colonic motility were evaluated after acute or chronic colorectal distention followed by exposure to an elevated plus maze. Results: Administration of α-helical corticotropin-releasing hormone or JTC-017 significantly attenuated hippocampal noradrenaline release and reduced the frequency of abdominal contractions induced by acute distention. In addition, JTC-017 significantly reduced plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone and anxiety after acute distention. After chronic distention, changes in plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone and anxiety were not significant because of habituation. In contrast, a significant increase in fecal pellet output during the elevated plus maze was observed after chronic distention. This increase in fecal pellet output was blocked by pretreatment with JTC-017. Conclusions: Our results suggest that JTC-017, a specific corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 antagonist, attenuates hippocampal noradrenaline release, visceral perception, adrenocorticotropic hormone release, and anxiety after acute colorectal distention in rats. In addition, JTC-017 blocks stress-induced changes in colonic motility after chronic colorectal distention in rats.
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