Arginine abolishes the inhibitory effect of glucose on the growth hormone response to growth hormone-releasing hormone in man.


Ghigo E, Miola C, Aimaretti G, Valente F, Procopio M, Arvat E, Yin-Zhang W, Camanni F






Acute hyperglycemia inhibits the growth hormone (GH) response to several stimuli including growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), likely acting by stimulation of endogenous somatostatin release. The aim of our study was to verify whether arginine ([Arg] 30 g intravenously [IV] in 30 minutes), a well-known GH secretagogue likely acting via inhibition of hypothalamic somatostatin release, counteracts the inhibitory effect of oral glucose (OG) administration (100 mg orally) on the GH response to GHRH (1 micrograms/kg IV bolus) in seven normal subjects (aged 20 to 30 years). The GH response to GHRH (peak, 11.6 +/- 1.8 micrograms/L) was inhibited by previous OG load (peak, 7.4 +/- 0.8 micrograms/L; P less than .02 v GHRH alone) and potentiated by Arg coadministration (peak, 36.2 +/- 8.8 micrograms/L; P less than .03 v GHRH alone). The potentiating effect of Arg on the GHRH-induced GH increase was unaffected by previous OG load (peak, 30.4 +/- 6.9 micrograms/L). In conclusion, our results show that Arg abolishes the inhibitory effect of OG administration on the GHRH-induced GH response in man. These data, although indirect, suggest that both acute hyperglycemia and Arg act at the hypothalamic level, stimulating and inhibiting, respectively, the release of somatostatin.