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Ann Ital Med Int

Title:[Pharmacologic profile of protirelin tartrate]
Author(s):Angelucci, L. Lorentz, G. Maccari, S. Patacchioli, F. R. Scaccianoce, S. Taglialatela, G.
Address:II Cattedra di Farmacologia Medica, Universita degli Studi La Sapienza di Roma.
Year:1990 Jul-Sep
Journal Title:Ann Ital Med Int
Page Number:232-44
Issue:3 Pt 2
ISSN/ISBN:0393-9340 (Print). 0393-9340 (Linking)
Abstract:Pharmacological interest in the tripeptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is due to the multiple effects it produces. In fact, apart from taking part in regulating the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid axis, TRH produces various neuropharmacological effects which indicate a biological role that is probably more important than that of a releasing hormone. Trials performed in animals have shown, for example, the dose-dependent capacity of TRH to induce analgesia, probably by interacting with the opioid peptide system. Motor activity is affected by TRH. In fact this tripeptide elicits an increase in spontaneous motor and explorative activities by interacting with the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system at the nucleus accumbens level. The neuropharmacological activities of TRH include an interesting arousal effect and an analeptic action on generalized depression of the CNS whether this depression is of natural origin, such as hibernation, or induced pharmacologically (barbiturates, ethanol) or of a traumatic origin (coma). This analeptic action is attributable to stimulation of cholinergic neurons in the septo-hippocampal area and to the presence of terminals containing TRH in the lateral septum and TRH receptors concentrated especially in the medial septum and diagonal band of Broca. It has also been suggested that TRH localized in the pineal gland has a part in activating the neuronal mechanisms of arousal. Associated with the arousal effect and especially evident in variously originated shock conditions are the activating effects of TRH on vegetative functions (body temperature, circulation, the gastrointestinal tract). These stimulatory activities on the CNS were the rationale for therapeutic use of TRH in the initial treatment of coma due to brain trauma and for the treatment of endogenous depression. A most interesting property of TRH is that of counteracting the neurological deficit due to experimental lesion of the spinal cord particularly with regard to spasticity and ataxia. Electrophysiological trials have shown that TRH depolarizes the motoneurons in frog spinal cord thereby increasing the monosynaptic reflex. Furthermore, TRH has recently been shown to have a trophic effect on cultures of rat fetus spinal cord. On this basis TRH has been used successfully for the treatment of amyotropic lateral sclerosis (Charcot's syndrome) and spinocerebellar degeneration. Further support for this therapeutic strategy is given by the demonstration that deafferentiation of rat spinal cord produces an increased density of TRH spinal receptors. Recent studies have also given encouraging results on the possible therapeutic use of TRH for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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