Paradoxical response of growth hormone to peptide histidine methionine in acromegaly: comparison with the effects of thyrotropin-releasing hormone and vasoactive intestinal peptide

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1991 May;72(5):982-5. doi: 10.1210/jcem-72-5-982.


We examined whether peptide histidine methionine (PHM) induces a paradoxical rise in plasma GH in patients with acromegaly. PHM (100 micrograms) was given as an iv bolus to eight patients with active acromegaly, and plasma GH levels were measured before and at intervals up to 120 min after the injection. For comparison, the effects of TRH (500 micrograms) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP, 100 micrograms), peptides known to paradoxically stimulate GH secretion in acromegalics, were assessed in all of the patients. A paradoxical rise (greater than 50% above the basal) in plasma GH was observed in five patients after both TRH and VIP administrations, although TRH responders were not always VIP responders, nor did VIP responders always respond to TRH. In two patients, the GH response to PHM fulfilled the criteria of a paradoxical increase. Both of these patients were also TRH and VIP responders. These results suggest that PHM may be another hypothalamic hormone capable of paradoxically stimulating GH secretion in at least some acromegalics, although PHM appears to be a less potent stimulator of GH release than TRH and VIP. The pathophysiological significance of this phenomenon is yet to be determined.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly / blood
  • Acromegaly / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptide PHI / administration & dosage
  • Peptide PHI / pharmacology*
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / administration & dosage
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / pharmacology*


  • Peptide PHI
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Growth Hormone