Gonadal status and body mass index jointly determine growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone/GH-releasing peptide synergy in healthy men

Remberto C. Paulo, Mihaela Cosma, Cacia Soares-Welch, Joy N. Bailey, Kristi L. Mielke, John M. Miles, Cyril Y. Bowers, Johannes D. Veldhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Context: Sex steroid hormones potentiate whereas increased body mass index (BMI) represses GH secretion. Whether sex steroids modify the negative effect of BMI on secretagogue-induced GH secretion in men is not known. The issue is important in designing GH-stimulation regimens that are relatively insensitive to both gonadal status and adiposity. Objective: Our objective was to compare the relationships between BMI and peptide-stimulated GH secretion in men with normal and reduced testosterone and estradiol availability. Setting: The study was performed at an academic medical center. Subjects: Healthy young men were included in the study. Interventions: Randomized separate-day iv infusion of saline and/or maximally effective doses of L-arginine/GHRH, L-arginine/GH- releasing peptide (GHRP)-2, and GHRH/GHRP-2 in eugonadal (n = 12) and experimentally hypogonadal (n = 10) men was performed. Outcomes: Regression of paired secretagogue-induced GH responses on BMI was determined. Results: In eugonadal men, peak GH concentrations correlated negatively with BMI. In particular, BMI accounted for only 38% of the response variability after L-arginine/GHRH (P = 0.0165), but 62% after GHRH/GHRP-2(P = 0.0012)and65%after L-arginine/GHRP-2 (P = 0.00075). In contrast, inhypogonadal men, GH responses were uncorrelated with BMI. The negative effects of BMI on peak GH responses in eugonadal and hypogonadal states differed most markedly after stimulation with GHRH/GHRP-2 (P = 0.0019). This contrast was corroborated using integrated GH responses (P = 0.0007). Conclusions: Short-term experimental gonadal sex hormone depletion attenuates dual secretagogue-stimulated GH secretion in lean young men. The inhibitory effect of relative adiposity on GH secretion appears to predominate over that of acute sex steroid withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)944-950
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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