Impact of Growth Hormone on the Timing and Progression of Puberty: How Are Growth and Sexual Maturation Linked?
Perhaps nowhere else are the interactions between the somatotrophic and reproductive axes as dramatically manifest as when sexual maturation and the adolescent growth spurt combine to comprise human pubertal development. Basic and clinical investigations in recent years have added much to our knowledge regarding these complex interactions, including the modulation of neurosecretory patterns of growth hormone (GH) release by gonadal steroids and the modulation of gonadal function by insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and its binding proteins (IGFBPs) (1-3). The focus of this chapter is the impact of growth and GH on two discrete aspects of sexual maturation: (i) the timing of the onset of central puberty and (ii) the pace or rapidity with which puberty progresses once under way. While they are areas of great clinical and basic research interest, there is still much that is poorly understood about these developmental processes.
KeywordsGrowth Hormone Sexual Maturation Central Precocious Puberty Pubertal Maturation Growth Hormone Administration
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