Because estrogen production and age are strong covariates, distinguishing their individual impact on hypothalamo-pituitary regulation of growth hormone (GH) output is difficult. In addition, at fixed elimination kinetics, systemic GH concentration patterns are controlled by three major signal types [GH-releasing hormone (GHRH), GH-releasing peptide (GHRP, ghrelin), and somatostatin (SS)] and by four dynamic mechanisms [the number, mass (size), and shape (waveform) of secretory bursts and basal (time invariant) GH secretion]. The present study introduces an investigative strategy comprising 1) imposition of an experimental estradiol clamp in pre- (PRE) and postmenopausal (POST) women; 2) stimulation of fasting GH secretion by each of GHRH, GHRP-2 (a ghrelin analog), and L-arginine (to putatively limit SSergic restraint); and 3) implementation of a flexible-waveform deconvolution model to estimate basal GH secretion simultaneously with the size and shape of secretory bursts, conditional on pulse number. The combined approach unveiled the following salient percent POST/PRE contrasts: 1) only 27% as much GH secreted in bursts during fasting (P < 0.001); 2) markedly attenuated burstlike GH secretion in response to bolus GHRP-2 (29%), bolus GHRH (30%), L-arginine (37%), constant GHRP-2 (38%), and constant GHRH (42%) (age contrasts, 0.0016 ≤ P ≤ 0.027); and 3) a 160% prolongation and 32% abbreviation of the time required to achieve maximal GH secretion after injection of L-arginine and bolus GHRP-2, respectively (both, P < 0.001). Accordingly, age selectively determines both the size (amount) and shape (waveform) of GH secretory bursts in healthy women independently of the short-term estrogen milieu.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|State||Published - Sep 2007|
- Growth hormone-releasing hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)