Growth hormone (GH) is a pituitary hormone that was first isolated in 1944. In the 1960s the pituitary GH extracted from cadavers was used in GH-deficient children, and in 1985 the recombinant human GH (rhGH) was approved for clinical use by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Despite a long history of research, a lot remains unclear about the actions of GH, and many of its new roles are emerging, making this hormone an attractive subject of research.
GH is a hormone with diverse actions. As the name implies, GH plays a critical role in body growth. At the onset of puberty, GH reaches its peak level, leading to the elongation of the long bones and rapid linear growth. GH induces the expression of insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in the liver, which mediates part of the growth-promoting action of GH. GH and IGF-1 both decline rapidly from early teens and decline thereafter as a function of age. Another well-known action of GH is the anabolic effect in the skeletal muscle, resulting in enhanced protein synthesis and increased muscle mass. In contrast, GH induces a catabolic effect in the adipose tissue, resulting in fat loss.
Last date updated on June, 2014