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Peripheral activities of growth hormone-releasing hormone

Abstract

Growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone (GHRH) is produced by the hypothalamus and stimulates GH synthesis and release in the anterior pituitary gland. In addition to its endocrine role, GHRH exerts a wide range of extrapituitary effects which include stimulation of cell proliferation, survival and differentiation, and inhibition of apoptosis. Accordingly, expression of GHRH, as well as the receptor GHRH-R and its splice variants, has been demonstrated in different peripheral tissues and cell types. Among the direct peripheral activities, GHRH regulates pancreatic islet and β-cell survival and function and endometrial cell proliferation, promotes cardioprotection and wound healing, influences the immune and reproductive systems, reduces inflammation, indirectly increases lifespan and adiposity and acts on skeletal muscle cells to inhibit cell death and atrophy. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly clear that GHRH exerts important extrapituitary functions, suggesting potential therapeutic use of the peptide and its analogs in a wide range of medical settings.

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Granata, R. Peripheral activities of growth hormone-releasing hormone. J Endocrinol Invest 39, 721–727 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40618-016-0440-x

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Keywords

  • Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH)
  • GHRH agonists and antagonists