Does midbrain urocortin 1 matter? A 15-year journey from stress (mal)adaptation to energy metabolism

Tamás Kozicz, Linda Sterrenburg, Lu Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This review summarizes some of the milestones of the research on the biological functions(s) of midbrain urocortin 1 (Ucn1) since its discovery 15 years ago. Detailed characterization of Ucn1 in the midbrain revealed its overall significance in food intake and regulation of homeostatic equilibrium and mood under stress. In addition, we have recently found a conspicuous alteration in midbrain Ucn1 levels in brains of depressed suicide victims. Furthermore, from the results from the genetically modified animals, a picture is emerging where corticotrophin-releasing factor promotes the initial reactions to stress, whereas Ucn1 seems to be crucial for management of the later adaptive phase. In the case of imbalance in action of these principle stress mediators, vulnerability to stress-related brain diseases is enhanced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-383
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Edinger-Westphal central projecting neurons
  • Urocortin 1
  • depression
  • energy metabolism
  • sex difference
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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