Interactive regulation of postmenopausal growth hormone insulin-like growth factor axis by estrogen and growth hormone-releasing peptide-2

J. D. Veldhuis, W. S. Evans, C. Y. Bowers, S. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Estrogen is the proximate sex steroid sustaining GH secretion throughout the human life span in both sexes. However, very little is known about the specific neuroendocrine mechanisms by which estrogen activates and maintains GH secretion in the young or aging human. The identification of somatostatin in 1973 as a key negative-peptidyl regulator of the GH axis and the discovery of GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) in 1982 as a dominant feedforward agonist of GH secretion provided an initial basic science foundation for exploring sex-steroid control of the GH-IGF-1 axis. Although GH-releasing peptides (GHRPs) were first recognized in 1977-1981, subsequent cloning of hypothalamopituitary receptors transducing potent secretagogue actions of GHRPs in 1996 and of an endogenous ligand for this effector pathway in 1999 now extend the framework for examining the mechanisms of estrogen-driven GH secretion in aging. Herein, we review several novel and multifaceted interactions in postmenopausal women between estrogen and GHRP-2. We combine these observations into a simplified construct of GH-axis neuroregulation comprising the somatostatin, GHRH, and GHRP effector pathways, as well as GH and IGF-1 autofeedback. We suggest the thesis that estrogen controls the interfaces among these pivotal regulatory peptides in hyposomatotropic postmenopausal individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001



  • Aging
  • Growth hormone secretagogue
  • Growth hormone-releasing peptide
  • Somatotropin
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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