Deterministic construct of amplifying actions of ghrelin on pulsatile growth hormone secretion

Leon S. Farhy, Johannes D. Veldhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Ghrelin is a native ligand for the growth hormone secretagogue (GHS) receptor that stimulates pulsatile GH secretion markedly. At present, no formal construct exists to unify ensemble effects of ghrelin, GH-releasing hormone (GHRH), somatostatin (SRIF), and GH feedback. To model such interactions, we have assumed that ghrelin can stimulate pituitary GH secretion directly, antagonize inhibition of pituitary GH release by SRIF, oppose suppression of GHRH neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ArC) by SRIF, and induce GHRH secretion from ArC. The dynamics of such connectivity yield self-renewable GH pulse patterns mirroring those in the adult male and female rat and explicate the following key experimental observations. 1) Constant GHS infusion stimulates pulsatile GH secretion. 2) GHS and GHRH display synergy in vivo. 3) A systemic pulse of GHS stimulates GH secretion in the female rat at any time and in the male more during a spontaneous peak than during a trough. 4) Transgenetic silencing of the neuronal GHS receptor blunts GH pulses in the female. 5) Intracerebroventricular administration of GHS induces GH secretion. The minimal construct of GHS-GHRH-SRIF-GH interactions should aid in integrating physiological data, testing regulatory hypotheses, and forecasting innovative experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1649-R1663
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 57-6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Feedback
  • Growth hormone secretagogues
  • Hormone pulsatility
  • Hypothalamus
  • Mathematical model
  • Pituitary
  • Somatotropic axis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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