Human GH pulsatility: An ensemble property regulated by age and gender

Johannes D. Veldhuis, C. Y. Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

57 Scopus citations


Age and gender impact the full repertoire of neurohormone systems, including most prominently the somatotropic, gonadotropic and lactotropic axes. For example, daily GH production is approximately 2-fold higher in young women than men and varies by 20-fold by sexual developmental status and age. Deconvolution estimates of 24-h GH secretion rates exceed 1200 μg/m2 in adolescents and fall below 60 μg/m2 in aged individuals. The present overview highlights plausible factors driving such lifetime variations in GH availability, i.e., estrogen, aromatizable androgen, hypothalamic peptides and negative feedback by GH and IGF-I. In view of the daunting complexity of potential neuromodulatory signals, we underline the utility of conceptualizing a simplified three-peptide regulatory ensemble of GHRH, GHRP (ghrelin) and somatostatin. The foregoing signals act as individual and conjoint mediators of adaptive GH control. Regulation is enforced at 3-fold complementary time scales, which embrace pulsatile (burst-like), entropic (orderly) and 24-h rhythmic (nycthemeral) modes of GH release. This unifying platform offers a convergent perspective of multivalent control of GH outflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-813
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of endocrinological investigation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Aging
  • Sex steroid
  • Somatotropin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Human GH pulsatility: An ensemble property regulated by age and gender'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this