Psychoneuroendocrinology of depression. Growth hormone

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1998 Jun;21(2):325-39. doi: 10.1016/s0193-953x(05)70008-3.


The release of growth hormone (GH) from the anterior pituitary is regulated by hypothalamic peptides especially GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) and somatostatin, which in turn are controlled by classic neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline, dopamine, and acetylcholine, as well as negative feedback from GH and insulin-like growth factor-1. There has been extensive investigation of this axis in patients with depression. The most consistently reported abnormality is in noradrenergic-mediated GH release, which probably occurs via GHRH containing neurones. ACh-induced GH release through the somatostatin system, GABA, and also GHRH-stimulated release are reported as abnormal by some researchers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Depression / metabolism*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Glucocorticoids / metabolism
  • Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Human Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / metabolism*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / metabolism*


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone