GH/IGF-I Axis in Exercise

  • Enrico Gabellieri
  • Ignacio Bernabeu
  • Eva Fernandez
  • Monica Marazuela
  • Luca Chiovato
  • Felipe F. Casanueva
Part of the Endocrine Updates book series (ENDO, volume 29)


Growth hormone (GH) is an important metabolic hormone secreted in a pulsatile manner by the somatotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. Physical exercise is a potent stimulus to GH release. The relevance in exercise performance of GH-IGF-I axis is probably mainly due to its metabolic effects. GH, directly and via insulin-growth-factor I (IGF-I), increases protein synthesis and decreases protein catabolism by mobilizing fat as a principal fuel source during exercise. Several evidences support an important role of an intact GH-IGF-I axis in maintaining normal exercise capacity through a regulation of free fatty acids (FFAs) availability. Positive and significant effects of GH replacement therapy on exercise capacity have been described in growth hormone deficient (GHD) patients. Furthermore, some data show that GH treatment can improve exercise performance in elderly subjects. However, supraphysiological GH plasma levels in normal subject and athletes seems to be ineffective at improving exercise performance or endurance, and the chronic GH excess in acromegalic patients is characterized by impairments in strength and exercise performance. Therefore it is very important, when considering a possible GH treatment, to balance the effectiveness and the safety of this therapy.


Growth Hormone Exercise Performance Growth Hormone Secretion Growth Hormone Level Growth Hormone Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Gabellieri
    • 1
  • Ignacio Bernabeu
  • Eva Fernandez
  • Monica Marazuela
  • Luca Chiovato
  • Felipe F. Casanueva
  1. 1.Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Chair of EndocrinologyUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

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