Growth hormone and insulin growth factor effects on metabolism

Stressful stimuli increase glucagon via stimulation of the sympathetic nerves to the pancreas and the b-adrenergic receptors in the pancreatic islets. Exercise, pyrogens, and some psychological conditions also increase the secretion of growth hormone. Glucagon and growth hormone help to maintain a nutrient supply to metabolizing tissues.

Growth hormone is secreted from the anterior pituitary gland in a pulsatile fashion following stimulation from hypothalamic growth hormone releasing hormone. Release of growth hormone is inhibited by somatostatin. Growth hormone binds to its own specific receptor and regulates the expression of insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in many tissues, particularly the liver. The metabolic actions of IGF-1 are modulated by at least six different circulating binding proteins. Growth hormone causes lipolysis and antagonizes insulin effects, as well as having anabolic actions mediated by IGF-1. In fasting and serious illness there is a reduction in the indirect anabolic actions mediated by IGF-1 and an increase in lipolysis and insulin antagonism, probably associated with increased basal concentrations of growth hormone. Such changes might benefit fasting sick patients by providing circulating metabolic substrate.

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