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L. Gelander and K. Albertsson-Wikland


Endogenous GH secretion was measured every 20 min for 24 h in 36 short children. This was immediately followed by an i.v. injection of GH-releasing hormone (GHRH)(1–29)-NH2 (1 μg/kg), and GH was estimated every 15 min for the following 2 h. The aim was to determine whether endogenous pulsatile GH secretion had any relation to, or influence on, the GH release induced by GHRH. A high variability was found both in the 24-h GH secretion expressed as area under the curve above the baseline (0–1588 mU/l × 24 h) and the maximal GH response to GHRH (5–296 mU/l), as well as after an arginine–insulin tolerance test (4–59 mU/l). We found a positive correlation (correlation coefficient of Spearman (r s) = 0·49; P < 0·01) between the GH response to GHRH and the spontaneous GH secretion over a 24-h period, in spite of a negative correlation (r s = −0·80; P < 0·01) with the GH secretion during the preceeding 3 h. We conclude that the GH response to a GHRH test correlates with endogenous GH secretion in short children, and may be helpful in estimating the ability to release GH. It is important, however, to be aware of the influence of the spontaneous GH secretion during the 3 h immediately preceeding administration of GHRH.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 122, 61–68

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D Swolin-Eide, J Dahlgren, C Nilsson, K Albertsson Wikland, A Holmang, and C Ohlsson

Events occurring early in life or prenatally are able to play important roles in the pathogenesis of diseases in adult life. Different sorts of stress or hormonal influences, during particular periods of pregnancy, may result in persisting or transient changes in physiology. Glucocorticoids are used for the treatment of a variety of diseases, to promote organ maturation and to prevent preterm delivery. Glucocorticoids are also known to affect skeletal growth and adult bone metabolism. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exposure to dexamethasone (Dex) during fetal life has any effect on skeletal growth and/or bone mineral density in adult rat offspring. Pregnant rats were given injections of either Dex (100 micro g/kg) or vehicle on days 9, 11 and 13 of gestation. Dex-exposed male but not female rat offspring showed transient increases in crown-rump length and tibia and femur lengths at 3-6 weeks of age. In contrast, the cortical bone dimensions were altered in 12-week-old female but not male Dex-exposed offspring. The areal bone mineral densities of the long bones and the spine, as determined by dual X-ray absorptiometry, and trabecular as well as cortical volumetric bone mineral density, as measured using peripheral quantitative computerized tomography, were unchanged in both male and female Dex-exposed offspring. In conclusion, prenatal Dex exposure affects skeletal growth in a gender-specific manner, while the mineralization of bones is unaffected in both male and female offspring.