The possible role of thyroid hormones in the rise in plasma GH observed in protein-restricted chicks was examined. Increased sensitivity of protein-restricted chicks to secretagogue challenge (TRH or GH-releasing factor) appears to account, at least in part, for increased GH concentrations in protein-restricted chicks. Thyroid hormones administered acutely were able to suppress plasma GH concentrations in protein-restricted chicks. Further, chronic thyroid hormone supplementation to low protein diets normalized circulating thyroid hormone concentrations and also normalized the response to GH secretagogue challenge. This decreased sensitivity to TRH provocation occurred without an accompanying change in plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I, a reputed inhibitor of GH secretion in the chicken.
J. Endocr. (1988) 117, 223–228