Does growth hormone releasing factor desensitize the somatotroph? Interpretation of responses of growth hormone during and after 10-hour infusion of GRF 1-29 amide in man
Davis, J.R.; Sheppard, M.C.; Shakespear, R.A.; Lynch, S.S.; Clayton, R.N.
Clinical Endocrinology 24(2): 135-140
It is unclear whether growth hormone releasing factor (GRF) administration in vivo may desensitize the somatotroph. To investigate this possibility we have examined the effects of 10-h infusion of the equipotent 1-29 amide analogue of hpGRF on serum GH levels and on the subsequent GH response to a bolus dose of GRF (1-29). Four normal adult males received an intravenous infusion of 1-29 GRF (1 microgram/kg/h) from 0800 to 1800 h, with blood samples taken at 10 min intervals. A 100 micrograms intravenous bolus dose of GRF was given at 1800 h, and sampling continued for a further 90 min. GH levels were near or below the limit of detection (0.5 mU/l) throughout the control 10 h period. During GRF infusion there was increased GH release with pulses of irregular frequency and amplitude (up to 80 mU/l) continuing throughout the entire infusion period. There was no apparent reduction in total GH released towards the latter part of the infusion. On the control day, 100 micrograms GRF bolus increased mean (+/- SEM) GH from 0.82 +/- 0.21 mU/l to a peak of 59.0 +/- 44.8 mU/l (P less than 0.002). Following 10-GRF infusion, responses to bolus injection of GRF were reduced, but variable. In two subjects a small rise in GH levels occurred (basal 6.4 and 7.2 rising to peak values of 11.2 and 23.0 mU/l respectively). In the other two subjects, GH levels fell but in these the GRF bolus had coincided with a GH peak. The loss of GRF responsiveness after GRF infusion may be due to 'desensitization'.