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Growth hormone response to submaximal doses of ghrelin remains unchanged during the follicular phase of the cycle

Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1477-7827-11-36
  • Research
  • Biology


Background Previous data have shown that ghrelin-induced growth hormone (GH) secretion is augmented in women by exogenous but not by endogenous estrogens. The purpose of this study was to examine the response of GH to low-dose scheme of ghrelin administration in relation to physiological changes in estradiol levels during the normal menstrual cycle. Methods Ten normally cycling women were studied in two menstrual cycles. Two consecutive dosages of ghrelin (0.15 μg/kg and 0.30 μg/kg) were injected intravenously at 0 and 90 min in the early and late follicular phases of one cycle. Saline was injected in the preceding cycle. Blood samples were taken at −15, 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 min. The GH response was assessed. Results Serum estradiol concentrations were significantly higher in the late than in the early follicular phase. After ghrelin, but not after saline administration, plasma ghrelin and serum GH levels increased significantly in both phases, peaking at 30 min and 120 min. The peak value at 120 min was significantly higher than at 30 min (P<0.001). There were no significant differences in ghrelin and GH levels between the two phases at all time points. Conclusions The present results show no difference in GH response to two consecutive submaximal doses of ghrelin between the early and the late follicular phase of the cycle. It is suggested that estradiol is not possibly involved in the physiological process that regulates ghrelin-induced GH secretion in women during the normal menstrual cycle.

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