Chapter 23. Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH)


Karolina Radwańska, Dorota Bartusik-Aebisher and David Aebisher
Medical College of The University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland

Part of the book: The Biochemical Guide to Hormones


GHRH (Growth hormone releasing hormone) is a hormone whose main task is to release growth hormone (GH) and stimulate its synthesis in the anterior pituitary gland. GHRH deficiency or impaired synthesis is the direct cause of GH deficiency. Not only does it play an endocrine role in the body, it also controls the process of apoptosis, proliferation, survival and cell differentiation. The cause of GHRH-related abnormalities may be both its deficiency in the blood, as well as the mutation of the GHRH gene causing the autosomal recessive IGHD disease, which results in disturbances in the growth process visible already in the first year of the child’s life. Studies also show a decrease in the activity of the fibrinolytic system, which can cause blood clots. Thanks to the discovery of the direct influence of GHRH on GH levels, it was possible to implement anti-cancer therapy consisting in blocking the GHRH receptor with its antagonists. This procedure is one of the methods of alternative therapy for pancreatic, stomach or colon cancer.

Keywords: growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), receptors, apoptosis, proliferation, growth hormone (GH)


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