What is the role of insulinlike growth factors (IGFs) in the pathophysiology of hyposomatotropism (growth hormone deficiency [GHD])?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Sunil Kumar Sinha, MD; Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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Insulinlike growth factors (IGFs) are a family of peptides that partially depend on GH and that mediate many of its anabolic and mitogenic actions.

Two theories have been proposed regarding the relationship between GH and IGFs: the somatomedin hypothesis and the dual-effector hypothesis. According to the somatomedin hypothesis, IGF mediates all of the anabolic actions of GH. Although this theory is partially correct, GH also has various other independent metabolic actions, such as enhancement of lipolysis, stimulation of amino acid transport in the diaphragm and the heart, and enhancement of hepatic protein synthesis. The attempt to resolve this discrepancy lies in the dual-effector model. According to this theory, GH stimulates precursor cells to differentiate and secrete IGF, which, in turn, exerts mitogenic and stimulatory effects. [15, 21, 22, 23, 24]

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