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  GROWTH HORMONE: CLINICAL ASPECTS


Minerva Endocrinologica 2003 March;28(1):75-86

Copyright © 2003 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Growth hormone and Mannam-binding lectin: emerging evidence for hormonal regulation of humoral innate immunity

Hansen T. K.


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An increasing number of studies in animals and humans indicate that growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) modulate immune function. It was recently reported that, surprisingly, GH therapy increased the mortality in critically ill patients. The excessive mortality was almost entirely due to septic shock or multi-organ failure, which could suggest that a GH-induced modulation of immune function was involved. Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) is a plasma protein that plays an important role in innate immunity through activation of the complement cascade and inflammation following binding to carbohydrate structures. The serum concentration of MBL is subject to large between-subjects differences, which primarily are caused by genetic factors. However, mounting evidence supports a significant influence from growth hormone on MBL levels. In the present review, we focus on the function of MBL, on the influence of growth hormone on MBL levels, and on the possible clinical consequences of this new link between the endocrine and the immune system.

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