Effects of long-term treatment with growth hormone-releasing peptide-2 in the GHRH knockout mouse

Maria Alba, Danilo Fintini, Cyril Y. Bowers, A. F. Parlow, Roberto Salvatori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Growth hormone (GH) secretagogues (GHS) stimulate GH secretion in vivo in humans and in animals. They act on the ghrelin receptor, expressed in both the hypothalamus and the pituitary. It is unknown whether GHSs act predominantly by increasing the release of hypothalamic GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) or by acting directly on the somatotroph cells. We studied whether a potent GHS could stimulate growth in the absence of endogenous GHRH. To this end, we used GHRH knockout (GHRH-KO) mice. These animals have proportionate dwarfism due to severe GH deficiency (GHD) and pituitary hypoplasia due to reduced somatotroph cell mass. We treated male GHRH-KO mice for 6 wk (from week 1 to week 7 of age) with GH-releasing peptide-2 (GHRP-2, 10 μg sc twice a day). Chronic treatment with GHRP-2 failed to stimulate somatotroph cell proliferation and GH secretion and to promote longitudinal growth. GHRP-2-treated mice showed an increase in total body weight compared with placebo-treated animals, due to worsening of the body composition alterations typical of GHD animals. These data demonstrate that GHRP-2 failed to reverse the severe GHD caused by lack of GHRH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E762-E767
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5 52-5
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Growth hormone-releasing hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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