Clinical Aspects of Growth Hormone Hypersecretory States

  • M. O. Thorner
  • M. L. Hartman
  • M. L. Vance
Conference paper


Growth hormone (GH) is secreted by the anterior pituitary and the pattern of secretion in both human and animal species is pulsatile [6, 19]. Thus, there are episodes of enhanced growth hormone secretion which occur at varying intervals. At present it is not clear whether growth hormone is tonically secreted between secretory bursts or whether it is only secreted episodically. Episodic growth hormone secretion is thought to be mediated by dual stimulation by hypothalamic growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) associated with a reduction in the tonic secretion of somatostatin (growth hormone release inhibiting hormone: SS) [18, 22]. Evidence from animal studies indicates that pulses of growth hormone secretion require GHRH, since passive immunization with antibodies to GHRH abolishes these GH bursts [24]. In contrast, basal growth hormone secretion is apparently tonically inhibited by somatostatin since passive immunization with antibodies to somatostatin leads to an increase in basal GH secretion [25]. The exact nature of hypothalamic secretion of somatostatin and GHRH is speculated to be reciprocal (Fig. 1) [18, 22]. This hypothesis has been supported by direct sampling of hypophyseal-portal blood in rats [12].


Growth Hormone Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pituitary Tumor Growth Hormone Secretion Acromegalic Patient 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. O. Thorner
    • 1
  • M. L. Hartman
    • 1
  • M. L. Vance
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Virginia, School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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