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Metabolism. 1992 Dec;41(12):1291-4.

Effect of galanin on the growth hormone response to growth hormone-releasing hormone in acromegaly.

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Cattedra di Clinica Medica, University of Brescia, Italy.


Galanin enhances growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone (GHRH)-stimulated GH secretion in normal man. In acromegaly, circulating GH levels are increased and the GH response to GHRH may be exaggerated. Galanin has been recently shown to decrease circulating GH levels in acromegaly. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of galanin on the GH response to GHRH in acromegalic subjects. Five acromegalic patients (three men and two women) and seven healthy adult subjects (five men and two women) were studied. GHRH-induced GH secretion was evaluated during a 40-minute intravenous (IV) infusion of saline (100 mL) or porcine galanin (12.5 micrograms/min in 100 mL saline). In normal subjects, delta GH levels after GHRH+porcine galanin administration (47 +/- 7.5 micrograms/L) were significantly higher in comparison to levels obtained with GHRH+saline (21.7 +/- 3.5 micrograms/L, P < .05). In acromegalic patients, GH responses to GHRH (delta GH, 18.8 +/- 8.6 micrograms/L) were not altered by galanin infusion (delta GH, 17.6 +/- 5 micrograms/L). Our results give the first evidence that the same dose of galanin that induces a significant enhancement of the GH response to GHRH in normal subjects has no effect on the GH response to GHRH in acromegalic patients. It can be hypothesized that galanin may interact at the pituitary level with its own receptors expressed by somatotropes independent of GHRH. Failure of galanin to enhance GH response to GHRH in acromegalic patients could be due to a change in function of the galanin receptor on GH-secreting adenomatous cells.

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