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J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Oct;23(4):526-532. English. Original Article.
Yamasaki T , Tomita T , Takimoto M , Kondo T , Tozawa K , Ohda Y , Oshima T , Fukui H , Watari J , Miwa H .
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan.


When a person is experiencing stress, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) can modulate gut physiologies, such as visceral sensation or gastrointestinal motility, and its intravenous administration mimics stress-induced physiological changes. However, the influence of CRH on the esophagus is yet unknown. Accordingly, we investigated whether intravenous CRH administration increases esophageal sensitivity to electrical stimulation in healthy Japanese subjects.


Twenty healthy subjects were recruited. We quantified the initial perception threshold (IPT) every 15 minutes after CRH injection. Venous blood was collected with a cannula, and both plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol were measured at pre-stimulation, 0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes. The results from each time point were compared against a baseline IPT obtained before electrical stimulation was initiated.


When compared to the baseline IPT value (16.9 ± 4.5), CRH significantly decreased electrical threshold of the esophagus at 30, 45, 60, 75 minutes (14.1 ± 4.2, 13.1 ± 5.0, 12.1 ± 5.7, 14.0 ± 5.8 minutes, P < 0.01, respectively) after CRH injection, suggesting that CRH increased esophageal sensitivity to the electrical stimulus. CRH also significantly increased plasma ACTH levels at 30 minutes (50.3 ± 17.7, P < 0.01), and cortisol levels at 30 minutes (22.0 ± 6.7 minutes, P < 0.01) and 60 minutes (20.3 ± 6.7 minutes, P < 0.01) after CRH injection, when compared to the pre-stimulation ACTH and cortisol values.


Intravenous CRH administration increased esophageal electrical sensitivity in normal subjects, emphasizing the important role of stress in esophageal sensitivity.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.