Complex regulation of GH autofeedback under dual-peptide drive: Studies under a pharmacological GH and sex steroid clamp

Johannes D. Veldhuis, Dana Erickson, John M. Miles, Cyril Y. Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


To test the postulate that sex difference, sex steroids, and peptidyl secretagogues control GH autofeedback, 11 healthy postmenopausal women and 14 older men were each given 1) a single iv pulse of GH to enforce negative feedback and 2) continuous iv infusion of saline vs. combined GHRH/ GHRP-2 to drive feedback escape during pharmacological estradiol (E2; women) or testosterone (T; men) supplementation vs. placebo in a double-blind, prospectively randomized crossover design. By threeway ANCOVA, sex difference, sex hormone treatment, peptide stimulation, and placebo/saline responses (covariate) controlled total (integrated) GH recovery during feedback (each P < 0.001). Both sex steroid milieu (P = 0.019) and dual-peptide stimulation (P < 0.001) determined nadir (maximally feedback-suppressed) GH concentrations. E2/T exposure elevated nadir GH concentrations during saline infusion (P = 0.003), whereas dual-peptide infusion did so independently of T/E2 and sex difference (P = 0.001). All three of sex difference (P = 0.001), sex steroid treatment (P = 0.005), and double-peptide stimulation (P < 0.001) augmented recovery of peak (maximally feedback-escaped) GH concentrations. Peak GH responses to dual-peptidyl agonists were greater in women than in men (P = 0.016). E2/T augmented peak GH recovery during saline infusion (P < 0.001). Approximate entropy analysis corroborated independent effects of sex steroid treatment (P = 0.012) and peptide infusion (P < 0.001) on GH regularity. In summary, sex difference, sex steroid supplementation, and combined peptide drive influence nadir, peak, and entropic measurements of GH release under controlled negative feedback. To the degree that the pharmacological sex steroid, GH, and dual-peptide clamps provide prephysiological regulatory insights, these outcomes suggest major determinants of pulsatile GH secretion in the feedback domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1158-E1165
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Androgen
  • Estrogen
  • Growth hormone
  • Sex difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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