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Renner, U.; Brockmeier, S.; Strasburger, Christian J.; Lange, M.; Schopohl, Jochen; Müller, Otto-Albrecht; Werder, K. von; Stalla, G. K. (1994): Growth Hormone (GH)-Releasing Peptide Stimulation of GH Release from Human Somatotroph Adenoma Cells: Interaction with GH-Releasing Hormone, Thyrotropin- Releasing Hormone, and Octreotide. In: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 78, No. 5: pp. 1090-1096




The synthetic hexapeptide GH-releasing peptide (GHRP; His-D-Trp-Ala-Trp-D-Phe-Lys-NH2) specifically stimulates GH secretion in humans in vivo and in animals in vitro and in vivo via a still unknown receptor and mechanism. To determine the effect of GHRP on human somatotroph cells in vitro, we stimulated cell cultures derived from 12 different human somatotroph adenomas with GHRP alone and in combination with GH-releasing hormone (GHRH), TRH, and the somatostatin analog octreotide. GH secretion of all 12 adenoma cultures could be stimulated with GHRP, whereas GHRH was active only in 6 adenoma cultures. In GHRH-responsive cell cultures, simultaneous application of GHRH and GHRP had an additive effect on GH secretion. TRH stimulated GH release in 4 of 7 adenoma cultures; in TRH-responsive cell cultures there was also an additive effect of GHRP and TRH on GH secretion. In 5 of 9 adenoma cultures investigated, octreotide inhibited basal GH secretion. In these cell cultures, GHRP-induced GH release was suppressed by octreotide. In 5 of 5 cases, the protein kinase-C inhibitor phloretin partly inhibited GHRP-stimulated GH release, but not basal GH secretion. In summary, GH secretion was stimulated by GHRP in all somatotroph adenomas investigated, indicating that its unknown receptor and signaling pathway are expressed more consistently in somatotroph adenoma cells than those for GHRH, TRH, and somatostatin. Our data give further evidence that GHRP-stimulated GH secretion is mediated by a receptor different from that for GHRH or TRH, respectively, and that protein kinase-C is involved in the signal transduction pathway. Because human somatotroph adenoma cell cultures respond differently to various neuropeptides (GHRH, TRH, somatostatin, and others), they provide a model for further investigation of the mechanism of action of GHRP-induced GH secretion.