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Cardiovasc Res. 2006 Jan;69(1):26-35. Epub 2005 Oct 10.

Cardiac and peripheral actions of growth hormone and its releasing peptides: relevance for the treatment of cardiomyopathies.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3T 1J4.


Ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathies are associated with significant morbidity and mortality in industrialized countries. Cardiomyopathies of primary origin, and more specifically the dilated form of the disease, have been associated with a number of gene defects in cytoskeletal, membrane, and sarcomeric proteins. Cardiomyopathies of secondary origin such as ischemic cardiomyopathy remain the leading cause of left ventricular systolic dysfunction and heart failure. Among novel strategies to improve cardiac function in heart failure, treatment with growth hormone, insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and natural and synthetic growth hormone-releasing peptides such as ghrelin and hexarelin have been explored. The present review focuses on the issues involved in the use of exogenous growth hormone and its releasing peptides in experimental animal models of chronic heart failure and in clinical studies on cardiomyopathic patients as potential releasing peptides for the treatment of chronic heart failure developing as a consequence of cardiomyopathy.

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