Longtime administration of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) does not restore the reduced efficiency of GHRH on sleep endocrine activity in 2 old-aged subjects--a preliminary study.Pharmacopsychiatry. 1997 Jul; 30(4):122-4.P
Aging results in a more shallow sleep accompanied by a blunted growth hormone (GH) secretion. In young male normal controls repetitive administration of GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) at the beginning of the night results in an increased secretion of GH, a blunting of cortisol and a stimulation of slow-wave sleep (SWS). In healthy elderly men and women, however, GHRH exerts only weak effects on sleep-endocrine activity. In a previous report continuous treatment of healthy elderly males by repetitive administration of GHRH (during 12 days administration with 100 micrograms GHRH i.v. at 9.00 h every second day, "priming") enhanced GHRH stimulated GH secretion at daytime markedly. We tested if priming with GHRH results in a more distinct modulation of the nocturnal hormone secretion and of the sleep EEG than acute administration of the peptide. Two elderly male controls spent first three consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory, the first of which served for adaptation to laboratory conditions. During the two other nights (at days 1 and 2) sleep EEG was recorded and blood was sampled for determining the secretion of GH, cortisol and ACTH. In one of the nights the subjects received 50 micrograms GHRH hourly between 22.00 h and 1.00 h (4 x 50 micrograms) or placebo. The next examination followed after the priming period at day 14 and the last was performed two weeks after treatment at day 28. After the baseline administration of 4 x 50 micrograms GHRH before priming no clear changes of sleep EEG towards improved sleep were detectable, whereas GH secretion was increased. After priming sleep period time and SWS time were lower compared to the baseline night with GHRH administration, whereas REM time duration increased. GHRH induced GH secretion was not enhanced after priming. ACTH secretion was markedly enhanced compared to baseline stimulation. We conclude that priming with GHRH has no sleep improving effect and does not change hormone secretion in elderly normal subjects. Hence in the elderly priming with GHRH is not capable to induce a rejuvenation of sleep endocrine activity.