Growth Hormone, Insulin-like Growth Factor I, and Immune Function

  • K. W. Kelley
  • S. Arkins
  • Y. M. Li
  • A. Biragyn
Conference paper


It is now clear that growth hormone affects the immune system of many animals, as reviewed by us (Kelley 1989, 1991 Kelley et al. 1992 Arkins and Kelley 1993) and others (Weigent and Blalock 1990 Berczi and Nagy 1991 Gala 1991). Interest in the immunological role of growth hormone, and the closely related molecule, prolactin, has increased substantially since cloning of their receptors revealed that they are both members of a new superfamily of cytokine receptors which includes IL-2, IL-3, IL-6, IL-7, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and erythropoietin (Bazan 1990 Cosman et al. 1990). The highly conserved nature of these cytokine and hormone receptors suggests that the somatolactogenic hormones are involved in the growth and differentiation of both lymphoid and myeloid cells. Emerging evidence from the immune and nervous systems (Rodriguez-Tarduchy et al. 1992; Barres et al. 1992) indicates that many of these effects may be mediated through insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). The purpose of this article is to summarize and integrate data published within the past 2 years which have addressed the possibility that somatolactogens and somatomedins are involved in regulation of the immune response. Readers are directed to earlier reviews (see above) for a more complete discussion of experimental work published before 1990.


Growth Hormone Human Growth Hormone Growth Hormone Receptor Thymic Epithelial Cell Recombinant Human Growth Hormone 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. W. Kelley
  • S. Arkins
  • Y. M. Li
  • A. Biragyn

There are no affiliations available

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