Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effects of growth hormone in rats with postinfarction left ventricular dysfunction


Growth hormone may affect cardiac function. In rats, chronic hypersecretion of growth hormone leads to increased maximum isometric contractile force of the left ventricular papillary muscle in vitro. In humans, administration of growth hormone can increase myocardial contractility. However, cardiac effects of growth hormone in heart failure or cardiac dysfunction have not been studied to date. The current study was to evaluate the cardiac effects of growth hormone in conscious rats with postinfarction left ventricular dysfunction and sham controls. Ligation of the left coronary artery or sham operation was performed, then 4 weeks after surgery, recombinant human growth hormone (2 mg/kg/day, SC) or vehicle was administered for 15 days. Catheters were implanted 13 days after treatment with growth hormone or vehicle. Hemodynamic parameters were measured in conscious rats 2 days after catheterization. In vehicle-treated rats, left ventricular systolic pressure, maximum dP/dt, and arterial pressure were significantly decreased and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure was significantly increased in the ligation group compared with sham controls. Growth hormone treatment increased left ventricular systolic pressure (p<0.05) and dP/dt (p<0.05) and reduced left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (p<0.05), significantly in the ligated rats. In sham rats, growth hormone tended to decrease arterial pressure but did not alter ventricular contractility. Neither ligation nor growth hormone significantly altered heart rate and right atrial pressure. These results suggest that growth hormone treatment may improve cardiac function by increasing myocardial contractility in cardiac dysfunction or heart failure.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Timsit J, Riou B, Bertherat J, et al. Effects of chronic growth hormone hypersecretion on intrinsic contractility, energetics, isomyosin pattern, and myosin adenosine triphosphatase activity of rat left ventricle.J Clin Invest 1990;86:507–515.

  2. 2.

    Timsit J, Mercadier JJ. Effects of chronic growth hormone excess on cardiac contractility and myosin phenotype in the rat.Acta Paediatr Supply 1992;383:32–34.

  3. 3.

    Mayoux E, Ventura-Clapier R, Timsit J, Behar-Cohen F, Hoffmann C, Mercadier JJ. Mechanical properties of rat cardiac skinned fibers are altered by chronic growth hormone hypersecretion.Circ Res 1993;72:57–64.

  4. 4.

    Penney DG, Dunbar JC, Baylerian MS. Cardiomegaly and hemodynamics in rats with transplantable growth hormone-secreting tumour.Cardiovasc Res 1985;19:270–277.

  5. 5.

    Rubin SA, Buttrick P, Malhotra A, Melmed S, Fishbein MC. Cardiac physiology, biochemistry and morphology in response to excess growth hormone in the rat.J Mol Cell Cardiol 1990;22:429–438.

  6. 6.

    Thuesen L, Christiansen JS, Sorensen KE, Jorgensen JOL, Orskov H, Henningsen P. Increased myocardial contractility following growth hormone administration in normal man.Dan Med Bull 1988;35:193–196.

  7. 7.

    Jorgensen JOL, Pedersen SA, Thuesen L, et al. Beneficial effects of growth hormone treatment in GH-deficient adults.Lancet 1989;1:1221–1225.

  8. 8.

    Cuneo RC, Salomon F, Wiles CM, Hesp R, Sonksen PH. Growth hormone treatment in growth hormone-deficient adults. II. Effects on exercise performance.Am J Physiol 1991;70:695–700.

  9. 9.

    Geenen DL, White TP, Lampman RM. Papillary mechanics and cardiac morphology of infarcted rat hearts after training.J Appl Physiol 1987;63:92–96.

  10. 10.

    Buttrick P, Perla C, Malhotra A, Geenen D, Lahorra M, Scheuer J. Effects of chronic dobutamine on cardiac mechanics and biochemistry after myocardial infarction in rats.Am J Physiol 1991;260(Heart Circ Physiol 29):H473-H479.

  11. 11.

    Kloner RA, Kloner JA. The effect of early exercise on myocardial infarct scar formation.Am Heart J 1983;51:1009–1013.

  12. 12.

    Fishbein MC, Maclean D, Maroko PR. Experimental myocardial infarction in the rat.Am J Pathol 1978;90:57–70.

  13. 13.

    Drexler H, Depenbusch JW, Truog AG, Zelis R, Flaim SF. Effects of diltiazem on cardiac function and regional blood flow at rest and during exercise in a conscious rat preparation of chronic heart failure (myocardial infarction).Circulation 1985;71:1262–1270.

  14. 14.

    Philibin DM, Emerson CW, Coggins CH, Moss JM, Slater E, Schneider RC. Renin, catecholamine, and vasopressin response to the “stress” of anesthesia and surgery.Anesthesiology 1979;51:S121.

  15. 15.

    Stoelting RK. Autonomic regulation of cardiovascular function. In:American Society of Anesthesiology Refresher Course Lectures. New Orleans, LA: American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc., 1981:1–6.

  16. 16.

    Roizen MF, Horrifan RW, Frazer BM. Anesthetic doses blocking adrenergic (stress) and cardiovascular responses to incision.Anesthesiology 1981;54:390–398.

  17. 17.

    Jin H, Yang R-H, Gillet N, Bunting S. Effects of anesthesia on hemodynamics in a rat model of congestive heart failure (abstr).J Heart Failure 1993;1:484.

  18. 18.

    Jorgensen J, Pedersen SA, Thuesen L, et al. Long-term growth hormone treatment in growth hormone deficient adults.Acta Endocrinol 1991;125:449–453.

  19. 19.

    Cuneo RC, Salomon F, Wilmshunt P, et al. Cardiovascular effects of growth hormone treatment in growth-hormone-deficient adults: Stimulation of the renin-aldosterone system.Clin Sci 1991;81:587–592.

  20. 20.

    Christiansen JS, Jorgenson JOL, Kristensen BO, Moller J, Thuesen L. Cardiovascular effects of growth hormone with special reference to growth hormone replacement therapy.Acta Paediatr Suppl 1992;383:40–42.

  21. 21.

    Cuneo RC, Wilmshurst P, Lowy C, Sonksen PH. Cardiac failure responding to growth hormone.Lancet 1989;1:838–839.

  22. 22.

    Caidahl K, Edent S, Bengtssin BA. Cardiovascular and renal effects of growth hormone.Clin Endocrinol 1994;40:393–400.

  23. 23.

    Anand IS, Ferrari R, Kalra GS, et al. Edema of cardiac origin: Studies of body water and sodium, renal function, hemodynamic indexes and plasma hormones in untreated congestive heart failure.Circulation 1989;80:299–305.

  24. 24.

    Anand IS, Chandrashekhar Y, Ferrari R, et al. Pathogenesis of congestive state in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.Circulation 1992;86:12–21.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Hongkui Jin MD.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yang, R., Bunting, S., Gillett, N. et al. Effects of growth hormone in rats with postinfarction left ventricular dysfunction. Cardiovasc Drug Ther 9, 125–131 (1995).

Download citation

Key words

  • growth hormone
  • heart failure
  • myocardial contractility
  • hemodynamics
  • myocardial infarction
  • cardiac dysfunction
  • conscious rats