†These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editor: Roman R. Poznanski
Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and its receptors are expressed in the hypothalamus and limbic regions. Brain thyrotropin-releasing hormone actions are exerted directly through its receptors and indirectly by modulating the effects of neurotransmitters such as glutamate, gamma-aminobutyric acid, acetylcholine, and dopamine. The thyrotropin-releasing hormone has been implicated in eating and mood regulation. We integrate studies that analyze the role of limbic thyrotropin-releasing hormone on displaying depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors and anorexia or hyperphagia. Since the decade of 1970s, different efforts have been made to identify some of the thyrotropin-releasing hormone effects and its analogs in feeding regulation or to ameliorate symptoms in patients diagnosed with mood disorders, and to correlate anxious or depressive parameters with thyrotropin-releasing hormone levels in the cerebrospinal fluid or its expression in postmortem brain areas of affected patients. Pharmacological studies where the thyrotropin-releasing hormone is administered to animals by different routes and to distinct brain areas have elucidated its actions in behavioral changes of mood and feeding parameters. In addition, a variety of animal models of depression, anxiety, or anorexia and hyperphagia has suggested the association between the hypothalamic and limbic TRHergic system and the regulation of mood and feeding alterations. Different approaches employ the administration of anti-depressant, anxiolytic or anorectic agents to animals and describe changes in thyrotropin-releasing hormone content or expression in hypothalamic or limbic regions. The different effects on mood that result from modulating thyrotropin-releasing hormone expression may be beneficial to treat patients diagnosed with eating disorders.