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September 14, 1984

Growth hormone releasing factor may lower somatotropin demand

JAMA. 1984;252(10):1257-1258. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350100001001

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For years, treating children with growth hormone (somatotropin) deficiency has been a painstaking and expensive procedure. It has involved extraction of the hormone from cadaver pituitary glands and, because of the limited availability, providing it only to the most severely afflicted patients.

Today, availability of bacterially synthesized growth hormone is imminent. But the size and complexity of the hormone still make production and purification a challenge.

Supply and Demand  Even as this challenge is being faced, it is being suggested that, in some patients at least, the use of growth hormone releasing factor may reduce the demand for the growth hormone. This is based on the hypothesis that abnormal secretion of growth hormone may be caused by impaired synthesis or secretion of the growth hormone releasing factor, which is a hypothalamic peptide responsible for release of the growth hormone from the pituitary. Recent isolation of growth hormone releasing factor from