The requirement for growth hormone (GH) secretion by the anterior pituitary gland in beef calves is demonstrated by a complete lack of long bone-growth and muscle accretion after hypophysectomy (surgical removal of the pituitary gland). When the connecting link (hypophyseal stalk) to the basal region (hypothalamus) of the brain is surgically severed, long bone growth and body weight gain are greatly limited compared with sham-operated controls. This limited growth results from obliteration of episodic GH secretion and reduced basal blood concentration of the hormone compared with sham-operated controls. Thus, the hypophyseal stalk-transected (HST) calf provides an appropriate model to determine mechanisms by which hypothalamic neuropeptides from the brain regulate GH secretion, and thereby growth in the young calf. Neuropeptides have been isolated and characterized in bovine hypothalamus that stimulate GH secretion (GH-releasing hormone [GHRH]) or factor [GHRF] and inhibit GH secretion (GH release-inhibiting hormone [GHRIH] or somatostatin [SRIH]). A dose of .067 micrograms of GHRF per kilogram of body weight injected intravenously in HST calves abruptly increased plasma GH concentration to 55 nanograms per milliliter from the control period mean of 5 nanograms per milliliter. HST calves then were infused intravenously with .033 and .067 microgram somatostatin per kilogram of body weight, during which a pulse injection of .067 microgram of GHRF was administered. GH increase was limited to 9 and 5 micrograms per kilogram body weight during the .033- and .067 microgram SRIH infusions after GHRF; no GH rebound was observed after the SRIH was discontinued. GHRF from humans contains 40 to 44 amino acids. Rat hypothalamic GHRF analogs containing 29 to 32 amino acids elicited dose-dependent GH peak release in these HST calves. In 1977, Bowers and Monomy isolated novel GH releasing peptides consisting of only six amino acids; they caused GH release by isolated pituitary cells in culture and acute GH release when administered intravenously. We recently have utilized a novel nonpeptidyl GH secretagogue of low molecular weight in the pig to determine its mechanisms of action within the central nervous system.
Iowa State University
Anderson, Lloyd L., "Effects of Novel Growth Hormone Secretagogues on Growth Hormone Secretion in Farm Animals" (1997). Beef Research Report, 1996. 41.