What is Growth Hormone?
Growth hormone is a peptide hormone which stimulates development, growth, and regeneration. The peptide hormone is made up of 191 amino acids that make a lengthy single chain polypeptide.
The growth hormone is synthesized in somatotropic cells that are found in the anterior pituitary gland as these cells also store and release the hormone. It functions in maintaining normal body structure and metabolism.
The growth hormone acts on different body parts to promote growth in children. In adults, it helps to maintain the normal body structure and keeps blood glucose levels within set levels.
Also Read: Hormones
Types of growth hormone
There are two types of growth hormones:
- Somatropin is the synthetic form of growth hormone which is synthesized by using recombinant DNA technologies.
- Somatotropin is the other name of growth hormone that is formed naturally in animals
Effects of Growth Hormone
There are two different types of physiological effects of growth hormones:
These are observed when the growth hormone binds with the receptor on the target cells. For eg., fat cells have growth hormone receptors which are stimulated by the growth hormones to break the triglycerides and suppress their ability to accumulate circulating fats.
These are mediated by Insulin-like Growth factor. Several growth-promoting effects of growth hormone are due to this hormone.
The growth hormone has important effects on protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
The metabolic effect reflects increased protein synthesis and decreased protein oxidation.
Growth hormone stimulates triglyceride breakdown and adipocytes oxidation.
Growth hormone maintains blood glucose levels. Growth hormone is believed to have anti-insulin activity. It suppresses the ability of insulin to take up glucose.
Regulation of Release and Secretion
The formation of growth hormone is regulated by the releasing hormone called somatocrinin along with inhibiting hormone called somatostatin which is released by the neurosecretory nuclei of the hypothalamus. These regulating hormones are liberated in the hypophysial portal blood that surmounts the pituitary gland. The release of a hormone in the pituitary is monitored by these two hormones that are affected by many external inhibitory factors.
Various factors stimulate the release of growth hormone like:
- Ghrelin acts by linking to GHSR (Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptors).
- The growth hormone releasing hormone acts by linking to GHRHR (Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone Receptor).
- Sex hormones like estrogen and androgens stimulate the secretion of growth hormone at the time of puberty.
Function of Growth Hormone
The growth hormone function can be understood under the following points:
- The growth hormone is utilized widely in medicines that heal the growth disorders in children and hormone deficiency in adults.
- The growth hormone enhances growth in adolescents and children.
- It also contributes to regulating bodily fluids, fat metabolism, sugar and even heart function.
- As per certain studies, the growth hormone could reduce body fat while it increases bone density and muscle mass.
- The energy levels raise consequently along with improved skin tone and bone density. Due to these properties, the growth hormone is utilized by sports players and hence banned by NCAA and IOC.
Also Read: Hormone Action
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the growth hormone?
Growth hormone is a protein of about 190 amino acids that are synthesised and secreted by cells called somatotrophs in the anterior pituitary gland. It regulates several physiological processes such as metabolism and growth.
What does the growth hormone do to children?
The growth hormone is released by the pituitary gland and affects the growth, bone density, muscles and lipid metabolism in children.
Name the different types of growth hormones.
Somatropin and somatotropin are two different types of growth hormone. Somatotropin is formed naturally in animals whereas somatropin is synthesized by recombinant DNA technology.
What are the effects of hypersecretion of growth hormone?
Hypersecretion of growth hormone causes gigantism in children and acromegaly in adults. Pituitary tumours are also caused due to hypersecretion of growth hormone in adults.
What is the effect of hyposecretion of growth hormone?
Hyposecretion of growth hormone causes dwarfism in children and changes the cholesterol levels, muscle mass and bone strength in adults.
How is the secretion of the growth hormone regulated?
The secretion of the growth hormone is regulated by the hypothalamus and mediators of growth hormone actions. Other factors include- growth hormone releasing hormone, somatostatin (SRIF), growth hormone releasing peptide (ghrerin), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I).