What is the role of sex steroids 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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Androgens and estrogens substantially contribute to growth during the adolescent growth spurt. Children with GHD lack the normal growth spurt despite adequate amounts of exogenous or endogenous gonadal steroids. The relationship between the sex steroids, GH, and skeletal maturation is not clearly understood. However, GH secretion is lower in frequency and higher in amplitude among males than among females. [25]

Androgen and estrogen receptors have been identified in the hypothalamus and are suspected to play an important regulatory role in the release of somatostatin, the hypothalamic hormone that inhibits GH secretion. Somatostatin regulation is believed to direct the frequency and amplitude of GH secretion. Therefore, it may be one of the sources of the differences between males and females.

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