Insulin-Like Growth Factors and Immunity: An Overview

  • Sean Arkins
  • Keith W. Kelley
Part of the Hans Selye Symposia on Neuroendocrinology and Stress book series (HSSN, volume 3)


The immune and neuroendocrine systems are now known to be linked in an active and bidirectional communication network. One of the most frequently advanced arguments for the existence of this network has been the demonstration of a molecular basis for this circuitry; i.e. the existence of common signal molecules and their receptors in both systems.1,2 Our laboratory has been investigating the effects of growth hormone and other members of the somatolactogenic family on the immune system. In this area of investigation there is a variety of clinical and experimental data which provide dramatic and direct evidence of neuroendocrine-immune interactions. Genetically hypopituitary species have reduced thymic and splenic weights, decreased cellularity of lymphoid tissues and associated immune dysfunction. Animals which have been hypophysectomized demonstrate similar lymphoid atrophy and have reductions in a number of immune responses.3–8 These observations have led to the hypothesis that pituitary hormones play an integral role in maintenance of reticuloendothelial tissues and regulation of immune responses. Several workers have demonstrated that growth hormone (GH) has a profound influence on a number of immune events.5,9,10 The molecular basis of this particular neuroendocrine-immune circuit has been demonstrated by the findings that lymphocytes have receptors for GH,11 that interleukins regulate pituitary GH production,12–14 and that lymphocytes produce a molecule similar to pituitary GH.9,15


Growth Hormone Bovine Colostrum Pituitary Growth Hormone Thymic Lymphoma Cell Mouse Thymoma Cell 
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 New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Arkins
    • 1
  • Keith W. Kelley
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Immunophysiology, Department of Animal Sciences, 207 Plant & Animal Biotech. Lab.University of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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