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A comparison of the dynamics of secretion of human growth hormone and LH pulses


Patterns of hypothalamic stimulation causing pituitary hormone release cannot be studied directly in humans; one possible approach is to make inferences from the nature of the response of the target organ as revealed by patterns of pituitary hormones in blood. Replicated, precise assay of LH in frequently sampled blood of women at differing stages of the menstrual cycle has demonstrated previously that secretion of this hormone is compatible with a model of discrete, instantaneous episodes of LH output, which are assumed to be stimulated by isolated bursts of increased stimulatory hypothalamic gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. However, similarly detailed measurements of the dynamic secretion patterns of GH in women reported here, revealed much slower rates of increase of GH concentrations (median time to maximum concentration 38 min) in comparison with LH (13 min) assayed in the same blood samples. These rise rates of GH were uncorrelated with the final amplitude of the peak and were observably discontinuous in half the peaks. Simultaneous i.v. injection of a bolus of mixed GRF and GnRH produced similar dynamics of pituitary release of GH and LH. Thus differences in patterns of natural release of the two hormones appear to be contributed to by differences in the modes of hypothalamic stimulation. Current understanding of control of GH release in animal models suggests that the slow-rising, frequently discontinuous natural peaks of GH in human blood are likely to be caused by interaction between the withdrawal of inhibitory hypothalamic somatostatin and the increased secretion of stimulatory GRF.

Type Journal
ISBN 0022-0795 (Print)
Authors McIntosh, R. P.;McIntosh, J. E.;Lazarus, L. :
Publisher Name J ENDOCRINOL
Published Date 1988-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 118
Published Issue 2
Published Pages 339-45
Status Published In-print