Growth hormone secretory patterns in young, middle-aged and old female rats

Neuroendocrinology. 1987 Aug;46(2):137-42. doi: 10.1159/000124810.

Abstract

Pulsatile growth hormone (GH) secretion was compared in young (5 months), middle-aged (11 months) and old (25-29 months) female Sprague-Dawley rats under nonanesthetized, free-moving conditions. Mean plasma GH levels were 99.1 +/- 9.3 ng/ml in young rats, 56.3 +/- 5.8 ng/ml in middle-aged rats and 49.7 +/- 4.9 ng/ml in old rats (p less than 0.01 for young vs. middle-aged and old rats). In young females, 10 out of 17 rats had GH pulses with peak levels greater than 200 ng/ml, in 6 middle-aged females all GH peaks were below 200 ng/ml, and in old females 13 out of 17 rats showed GH peaks of less than 100 ng/ml. The average peak (amplitude) of GH pulses in the old rats (69.3 +/- 8.3 ng/ml) was lower than in the young rats (130.4 +/- 17.5 ng/ml, p less than 0.01) and somewhat lower than in the middle-aged rats (87.0 +/- 8.9 ng/ml). There was no change in intervals between GH pulses. Pituitary GH content in middle-aged and old females (1,189 +/- 60 and 1,100 +/- 89 micrograms, respectively) was significantly lower (p less than 0.05 and p less than 0.01, respectively) than in young female rats (1,464 +/- 76 micrograms). Somatostatin content in the median eminence of old rats (22.4 +/- 1.9 ng) was significantly lower than in young rats (28.5 +/- 1.6 ng, p less than 0.05). It is concluded that GH secretion is reduced in aging female rats, but unlike in aging male rats the decrease is seen at an earlier age.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Periodicity
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • Rats

Substances

  • Growth Hormone