OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of repeated treatments with the growth hormone secretagogue (GHS) L-163,255 on the pulsatile release of GH when administered in meal-fed rats before and after feeding. DESIGN: The first group of rats (AL, n=6) had food available ad libitum. The second (restricted, R, n=6), third (GHSB, n=6), and fourth (GHSA, n=6) groups were fed from 1100 to 1400 h. Groups GHSB and GHSA were given GHS by gavage, 3.0 mg/kg L-163,255, at 1000 h (before feeding, B) and at 1500 h (after feeding, A) respectively. Three weeks after the initiation of the treatment, blood samples were collected at 10-min intervals over 6 h, and GH levels were determined. RESULTS: In group R, the concentrations of GH were higher before feeding (17.6+/-2.4 ng/ml) than during feeding (11.2+/-1.2 ng/ml), P<0.05. The average concentrations of the peak in response to GHS were higher when GHS was administered before (121.70+/-33.68 ng/ml) than after (49.67+/-17.87 ng/ml) feeding. The mass of GH, as calculated by deconvolution analysis was also higher in the GHSB group than in the GHSA group (251.6+/-64.1 ng/ml per min vs 85.3+/-22.9 ng/ml per min respectively, P<0.05). CONCLUSION: L-163,255 is effective in inducing GH release after repeated oral administration in rats. The effectiveness is greater when GHS is administered before rather than after feeding in meal-fed animals.
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