Extrapituitary growth hormone synthesis in humans
Diana Cristina Pérez-Ibave Growth Hormone & IGF Research Available online 12 February 2014
The gene for pituitary growth hormone (GH-N) in man belongs to a multigene locus located at chromosome 17q24.2, which also harbors four additional genes: one for a placental variant of GH-N (named GH-V) and three of chorionic somatommamotropin (CSH) type. Their tandem arrangement from 5’ to 3’ is: GH-N, CSH-L, CSH-1, GH-V and CSH-2. GH-N is mainly expressed in the pituitary from birth throughout life, while the remaining genes are expressed in the placenta of pregnant women. Pituitary somatotrophs secrete GH into the bloodstream to act at receptor sites in most tissues. GH participates in the regulation of several complex physiological processes, including growth and metabolism. Recently, the presence of GH has been described in several extrapituitary sites, such as neural, ocular, reproductive, immune, cardiovascular, muscular, dermal and skeletal tissue. It has been proposed that GH has an autocrine action in these tissues. While the body of evidence for its presence is constantly growing, research of its possible function and implications lag behind. In this review we highlight the evidence of extrapituitary synthesis of GH in humans.
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