The role of corticotropin-releasing hormone at peripheral nociceptors: Implications for pain modulation

Haiyan Zheng, Ji Yeon Lim, Jae Young Seong, Sun Wook Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Peripheral nociceptors and their synaptic partners utilize neuropeptides for signal transmission. Such communication tunes the excitatory and inhibitory function of nociceptor-based circuits, eventually contributing to pain modulation. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is the initiator hormone for the conventional hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, preparing our body for stress insults. Although knowledge of the expression and functional profiles of CRH and its receptors and the outcomes of their interactions has been actively accumulating for many brain regions, those for nociceptors are still under gradual investigation. Currently, based on the evidence of their expressions in nociceptors and their neighboring components, several hypotheses for possible pain modulations are emerging. Here we overview the historical attention to CRH and its receptors on the peripheral nociception and the recent increases in information regarding their roles in tuning pain signals. We also briefly contemplate the possibility that the stress-response paradigm can be locally intrapolated into intercellular communication that is driven by nociceptor neurons. Such endeavors may contribute to a more precise view of local peptidergic mechanisms of peripheral pain modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number623
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone
  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor
  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Nociceptor
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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