Nocturnal ghrelin pulsatility and response to growth hormone secretagogues in healthy men.Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Sep; 287(3):E506-12.AJ
The physiological importance of endogenous ghrelin in the regulation of growth hormone (GH) secretion is still unknown. To investigate the regulation of ghrelin secretion and pulsatility, we performed overnight ghrelin and GH sampling every 20 min for 12 h in eight healthy male subjects [age 37 +/- 5 (SD) years old, body mass index 27.2 +/- 2.9 kg/m2]. Simultaneous GH and ghrelin levels were assessed to determine the relatedness and synchronicity between these two hormones in the fasted state during the overnight period of maximal endogenous GH secretion. Pulsatility analyses were performed to determine simultaneous hormonal dynamics and investigate the relationship between GH and ghrelin by use of cross-approximate entropy (X-ApEn) analyses. Subjects demonstrated 3.0 +/- 2.1 ghrelin pulses/12 h and 3.3 +/- 0.9 GH pulses/12 h. The mean normalized ghrelin entropy (ApEn) was 0.93 +/- 0.09, indicating regularity in ghrelin hormone secretion. The mean normalized X-ApEn was significant between ghrelin and GH (0.89 +/- 0.12), demonstrating regularity in cosecretion. In addition, we investigated the ghrelin response to standard GH secretagogues [GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) alone and combined GHRH-arginine] in separate testing sequences separated by 1 wk. Our data demonstrate that, in contrast to GHRH alone, which had little effect on ghrelin, combined GHRH and arginine significantly stimulated ghrelin with a maximal peak at 120 min, representing a change of 66 +/- 14 pg/ml (P = 0.001 by repeated-measures ANOVA and P = 0.02 for GHRH vs. combined GHRH-arginine by MANOVA). We demonstrate relatedness between ghrelin and GH pulsatility, suggesting either that ghrelin participates in the pulsatile regulation of GH or that the two hormones are simultaneously coregulated, e.g., by somatostatin or other stimuli. Furthermore, the differential effects of GHRH alone vs. GHRH-arginine suggest that inhibition of somatostatin tone may increase ghrelin. These data provide further evidence of the physiological regulation of ghrelin in relationship to GH.