Corticotropin-releasing factor as a transmitter in the human olivocerebellar pathway

Richard E. Powers, Errol B. DeSouza, Lary C. Walker, Donald L. Price, Wylie W. Vale, W. Scott Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This study demonstrates that the neuropeptide, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), is present in neurons of the human inferior olivary complex (IOC). The medulla (including the inferior olive) and the anterior vermis of the cerebellum of 6 human controls obtained at autopsy were immunostained with an antibody directed against CRF. CRF receptors in cerebellum were localized with labeled CRF using in vitro receptor autoradiography. The great majority of neurons in all divisions of the IOC expressed CRF immunoreactivity, and CRF-immunoreactive fibers were demonstrated in the hilus of the olive and in the molecular layer of the cerebellum, where they closely resembled climbing fibers as visualized with other methods. CRF receptors were enriched in the cerebellum, with the highest density in inner portions of the molecular layer. These findings in human brain, consistent with studies in tissues from rat, cat, and monkey, demonstrate that CRF may be a peptidergic transmitter in the IOC climbing fiber system and that CRF receptors are expressed by cellular targets in the cerebellum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-352
Number of pages6
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 14 1987


  • Corticotropin-releasing factor
  • Human cerebellum
  • Inferior olive
  • Peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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