Acromegaly pp 65-72 | Cite as

The Mechanism of the Growth-Promoting Action of Growth Hormone

  • E. Martin Spencer
  • Nicole Schlechter
  • Sharon Russell
  • Charles Nicoll

Abstract

The mechanism of the growth-promoting action of growth hormone has been under investigation for many years. Freud et al. in 1939 found that in vivo administration of partially purified growth hormone preparations were able to increase the width of the tibial epiphysis (1). Ellis et al. in 1953 demonstrated that the stimulatory action of growth hormone was associated with an increase in the incorporation of sulfate into glyco-saminoglycans (2). Although unable to elicit a direct stimulatory effect of growth hormone on sulfate incorporation into cartilage in vitro, Salmon and Daughaday in their 1957 pioneering discovery showed that there resided in serum a growth hormone-dependent activity, designated “sulfation factor,” which possessed this property (3). They observed that the serum of hypophysectomized (hypox) rats contained very little sulfation activity, but serum from hypox rats treated with growth hormone contained increased amounts. Although the name sulfation factor was changed in 1972 to somatomedins, these observations were the birth of the somatomedin hypothesis: The growth-promoting effect of growth hormone is mediated by the somatomedins.

Keywords

Sugar Estrogen Polypeptide Stim Acromegaly 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Martin Spencer
    • 1
  • Nicole Schlechter
    • 2
  • Sharon Russell
    • 2
  • Charles Nicoll
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineChildren’s Hospital and University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiology/AnatomyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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