Auernhammer CJ, Strasburger CJ. Effects of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor I on the immune system. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;133:635–45. ISSN 0804–4643
Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH). growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) are synthesized and secreted by various immunocompetent cells. In addition, GHRH, GH, PRL and IGF-I receptors are expressed on immune cells. Growth hormone, PRL and IGF-I stimulate the proliferation of immunocompetent cells and modulate humoral and cellular immune functions, i.e. immunoglobuline secretion of B cells, thymulin secretion of thymic epithelial cells, natural killer cell activity, phagocytosis, oxidative burst and killing capacity of neutrophils and macrophages. No clinically significant cellular or humoral immunodeficiency has been found in GH-deficient patients. However, several immunological parameters and functions are altered in GH-deficient patients when compared to normal controls. The data available to date indicate that endocrine and pleiotropic para- and autocrine mechanisms of action are involved in a neuropeptide immune network, including GH PRL and IGF-I as modulators of immune function.
Christian J Strasburger, Medizinische Klinik, Klinikum Innenstadt der LMU, Ziemssenstr. 1, 80336 Munich, Germany