Corticotropin-releasing hormone stimulates angiogenesis and epithelial tumor growth in the skin

Jack L. Arbiser, Katia Karalis, Akila Viswanathan, Chieko Koike, Bela Anand-Aptc, Evelyn Flynn, Bruce Zetter, Joseph A. Majzoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The hypothalamic neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing hormone is the major hypothalamic regulator of the endocrine pituitary-adrenal axis. Corticotropin-releasing hormone is also expressed in many peripheral sites, where its functions are unclear. It is also secreted by diverse neoplasms, where it may be associated with malignant behavior. To provide information regarding the function of corticotropin-releasing hormone in peripheral sites and in tumors, we asked whether corticotropin-releasing hormone has angiogenic properties. In vitro, we found that human corticotropin-releasing hormone specifically stimulates endothelial chemotaxis via a corticotropin- releasing hormone receptor-dependent mechanism. In vivo, subcutaneous inoculation of nude mice with human epithelial tumor cells engineered to secrete corticotropin-releasing hormone was associated with significantly enhanced angiogenesis (2.3-fold over control) and tumor growth (5-fold over control). Peripheral corticotropin-releasing hormone may thus enhance local angiogenesis, which may provide clues to its function outside of the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)838-842
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotaxis
  • Ectopic hormone
  • Endothelium
  • Neovascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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