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Gian Paolo Ceda, Licia Denti, Graziano Ceresini, Gianni Rastelli, Claudio Dotti, Simona Cavalieri, Giorgio Valenti and Andrew R. Hoffman

Abstract. Calcitonin has been shown to modulate pituitary hormone secretion in a variety of ways. In this study we examined the effects of a salmon calcitonin infusion on GHRH-induced GH secretion in 5 normal men. In addition, in vitro experiments were performed using primary cultures of rat anterior pituitary cells in order to examine whether there is a direct pituitary effect of CT. Infusion of CT significantly blunted the GH response to GHRH in all subjects without affecting basal GH secretion or plasma calcium levels. Infusion of CT was accompanied by significant increases in ACTH, β-endorphin, cortisol and free fatty acid levels, and by a significant decrease in serum insulin levels. The addition of CT to primary cultures of rat pituitary cells did not alter basal or stimulated secretion of GH or ACTH. These results indicate that: 1) CT blunts the GH response to GHRH; 2) CT infusion results in the stimulation of the hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal axis, and 3) this effect is probably exerted at the hypothalamic level, since no direct activity of CT was documented in vitro on either GH or ACTH secretion.