Two receptors activated by the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family of peptides have been identified, the CRF 1 receptor (CRF1R) and the CRF 2 receptor (CRF2R). Of these, the CRF2R is expressed in skeletal muscle. To understand the role of the CRF2R in skeletal muscle, we utilized CRFR knockout mice and CRF2R-selective agonists to modulate nerve damage and corticosteroid- and disuse-induced skeletal muscle atrophy in mice. These analyses demonstrated that activation of the CRF2R decreased nerve damage and corticosteroid- and disuse-induced skeletal muscle mass and function loss. In addition, selective activation of the CRF2R increased nonatrophy skeletal muscle mass. Thus we describe for the first time a novel activity of the CRF2R, modulation of skeletal muscle mass.