The ability of continuously delivered GH-releasing factor (GRF) to enhance GH secretion while maintaining the normal ultradian GH rhythm was investigated. Synthetic human GH-releasing factor (hGRF(1-44)NH2) was continuously infused for 4 days by means of i.v. catheters to 11-week-old broiler chickens. At this age, overall endogenous GH secretion is low, and baseline GH is barely detectable. Six birds per treatment received vehicle (control), 0.324 mg hGRF(1-44)NH2/kg body weight per day (low dose) or 3.24 mg hGRF(1-44)NH2/kg body weight per day (high dose). After 4 days of GRF conditioning, concurrent with continued GRF infusion, serial blood samples were removed via atrial catheters at 15-min intervals for 6 h and GH plasma profiles determined. High dose GRF significantly increased GH plasma concentrations over tenfold compared with controls; however, most of this increase reflected and increase in basal GH, which was reinstated to juvenile baseline levels. Augmentation of pulse amplitude above this increased baseline was not proportionately as high, and failed to reach juvenile levels. The ultradian rhythm of GH was not altered by continuous GRF administration. Both low and high dose GRF treatments resulted in significant enlargement of the anterior pituitary gland. Total pituitary GH mRNA levels, although elevated over twofold by GRF treatment, were not significantly different from controls. Measures of plasma GH magnitude (overall and baseline mean, and peak amplitude) were significantly correlated with pituitary GH mRNA for control birds, but were not correlated for GRF treatments. Feed intake was markedly depressed (33%) on the high dose GRF treatment, in conjunction with total inhibition of body weight gain over the 4-day period of administration. Longitudinal bone growth and width of the epiphyseal growth plate were also significantly reduced by high dose GRF treatment, probably reflecting the reduced level of nutrient intake, despite high circulating concentrations of GH.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism