Bellone J, Ghizzoni L, Aimaretti G, Volta C, Boghen MF, Bernasconi S, Ghigo E. Growth hormonereleasing effect of oral growth hormone-releasing peptide 6 (GHRP-6) administration in children with short stature. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;133:425–9. ISSN 0804–4643
Growth hormone-releasing peptide 6 (GHRP-6) is a synthetic hexapeptide with a potent GH-releasing activity after intravenous, subcutaneous, Intranasal and oral administration in man. Previous data showed its activity also in some patients with GH deficiency. The aim of our study was to verify the GH-releasing activity of oral GHRP-6 administration on GH secretion in children with normal short stature. The effect of oral GHRP-6 (300 μg/kg) was compared with that of the maximally effective dose of intravenous GH-releasing hormone (GHRH-29, 1 μg/kg). As the GHRH-induced GH rise in children is potentiated by arginine (ARG), even when administered by oral route at low dose (4 g), we studied also the interaction of oral GHRP-6 and ARG administration. We studied 13 children (nine boys and four girls aged 6.2–10.5 years, pubertal stage I) with normal short stature (height less than –2 sd score; height velocity more than –2 sd score; normal bone age; insulin-like growth factor I > 70 μg/l), In a first group of children (N = 7), oral GHRP-6 administration induced a GH response (mean ± sem, peak at 60 min vs baseline: 18.8 ±3.0 vs 1.1 ± 0.3 μg/l, p < 0.0006; area under curve: 1527.3 ± 263.9 μgl−1 h) which was similar to that elicited by GHRH (peak at 45 min vs baseline: 20.8 ±4.5 vs 2.2±0.9 μg/l, p <0.007; area under curve: 1429.4 ± 248.2 μgl−1 h−1). In a second group of children (N = 6), the GH response to oral GHRP-6 administration (peak at 75 min vs baseline: 18.5 ±5.1 vs 1.5 ± 0.6 μg/l, p < 0.01; area under curve: 1598.5 ± 289.3 μgl−1 h−1) was not modified by co-administration of oral ARG (peak at 90 min vs baseline: 15.2 ±5.6 vs 0.9±0.3 μg/l, p < 0.002; area under curve: 1327.8 ± 193.2 μgl−1 h−1). The amount of GH released and the timing of the somatotrope response after the oral administration of GHRP-6 were similar in the two groups. In conclusion, the present data show that in normal short children the oral administration of GHRP-6 is able to increase GH secretion to an extent similar to that observed after intravenous administration of the maximally effective GHRH dose. Moreover, in contrast to GHRH, the effect of GHRP-6 is not enhanced by low-dose oral ARG. As this amino acid likely acts via inhibition of hypothalamic somatostatin release, our data suggest that a decrease in the somatostatinergic activity does not improve the GH-releasing effect of GHRP-6 in childhood, at variance with that observed after GHRH. Our results suggest that GHRP-6 could be clinically useful to stimulate GH secretion in short children.
E Ghigo, Divisione di Endocrinologia, Ospedale Molinette, C. so. AM Dogliotti 14, 10126 Torino, Italy