To test whether concentrations of estradiol and testosterone predict GH responses to mechanistically distinct secretagogues in healthy older adults, we studied 16 volunteers (n = 10 men, n = 6 women, age 49-72 yr) in each of six randomly ordered sessions as follows: 1) saline; 2) L-arginine; 3) aerobic exercise; 4) GHRH; 5) GH-releasing peptide (GHRP)-2; and 6) somatostatin-induced rebound. Statistical comparisons disclosed that stimulus type (P < 0.001) and the interaction between gender and stimulus type (P = 0.023) determine GH secretion. In women, each secretagogue, except exercise and somatostatin-induced rebound, stimulated GH secretion by 2.6- to 6.4-fold over saline/rest (P < 0.023). In men, somatostatin-induced rebound drove GH secretion by 4.6-fold (P = 0.004), exercise by 16-fold (P < 0.001), and other secretagogues by 18- to 109-fold over saline/rest (each P < 0.001). Gender comparisons disclosed greater GH secretion in men than women after somatostatin-induced rebound (P = 0.008) and GHRP-2 injection (P < 0.001) and conversely greater GH secretion in women than men after saline (P = 0.013). Regression analysis showed that individual concentrations of estradiol (r = 0.80, P = 0.002) and testosterone (r = 0.63, P = 0.008) and their combination (r = 0.86, P < 0.001) strongly predict responses to GHRP-2 only. We conclude that among healthy middle-aged and older adults, the action of GHRP is uniquely determined by gender and physiological concentrations of testosterone and estradiol.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical