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  GROWTH HORMONE: PHYSIOPATHOLOGY 

Minerva Endocrinologica 2002 December;27(4):287-98

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Growth hormone receptor antagonists

Kohn D. T., Kopchick J. J.


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Growth hormone (GH) has profound effects on vertebrate growth and cellular differentiation in diverse tissue types. Sexually dimorphic levels of circulating GH vary during development and throughout the lifespan. The synthesis and secretion of GH by the pituitary gland are precisely controlled. Abnormal levels are pathological; hyposecretion in children results in dwarfism while hypersecretion results in acromegaly. This review provides an overview of GH and the GH/insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) axis and highlights a GH receptor antagonist (i.e. Somavert®, pegvisomant). This antagonist competes with endogenous GH for the receptor and results in suppression of serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Pegvisomant is important for the treatment of acromegaly and may have therapeutic implications for certain types of cancer and end organ damage due to diabetes.

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