Reduced numbers of corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons in narcolepsy type 1

Ling Shan, Rawien Balesar, Dick F Swaab, Gert Jan Lammers, Rolf Fronczek

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) is a chronic sleep disorder correlated with loss of hypocretin(orexin). In NT1 post-mortem brains, we observed 88% reduction in corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)-positive neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and significantly less CRH-positive fibers in the median eminence, while CRH-neurons in the locus coeruleus and thalamus, and other PVN neuronal populations were spared: i.e. vasopressin, oxytocin, tyrosine hydroxylase and thyrotropin releasing hormone-expressing neurons. Other hypothalamic cell groups, i.e. the suprachiasmatic, ventrolateral preoptic, infundibular and supraoptic nuclei and nucleus basalis of Meynert were unaffected. The surprising selective decrease in CRH-neurons provide novel targets for diagnostics and therapeutic interventions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 2022


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