Hormonal control of aging in rodents: the somatotropic axis

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2009 Feb 5;299(1):64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2008.07.001. Epub 2008 Jul 11.


There is a growing body of literature focusing on the somatotropic axis and regulation of aging and longevity. Many of these reports derive data from multiple endocrine mutants, those that exhibit both elevated growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) or deficiencies in one or both of these hormones. In general, both spontaneous and genetically engineered GH and IGF-1 deficiencies have lead to small body size, delayed development of sexual maturation and age-related pathology, and life span extension. In contrast, characteristics of high circulating GH included larger body sizes, early puberty and reproductive senescence, increased cancer incidence and reduced life span when compared to wild-type animals with normal plasma hormone concentrations. This information, along with that found in multiple other species, implicates this anabolic pathway as the major regulator of longevity in animals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Growth Hormone / physiology
  • Growth and Development / physiology
  • Hormones / metabolism
  • Hormones / physiology*
  • Longevity / physiology
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Rodentia / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Somatotrophs / metabolism
  • Somatotrophs / physiology*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology


  • Hormones
  • Growth Hormone