The role of growth hormones in the development and function of granulocytes.

Project Details


Growth hormone (GH) is mainly produced by the anterior pituitary where its expression is regulated by the pituitary transcription factor Pit-1. The best recognized function of GH is stimulation of body growth. In rodents and man, many leukocytes express GH, and bear GH-receptors which both belong to the cytokine-receptor superfamily. It has been proposed that GH is a lymphohaemopoietic growth and differentiation factors. The expression of both hormone and receptors in the same tissue has led to the hypothesis that they are acting in an autocrine or paracrine way.
Objectives and aim of the proposed research
In 1996, we showed that human granulocytes express two, alternatively spliced, mRNA's of the GH-N gene, and three GH variant (glyco)proteins, but not the 22 kDa GH form which is the most abundant form in the pituitary and in serum. In vitro secretion of the 44 kDa variant (1 ng per 107 cells in 3 h) is enhanced by the chemotactic peptide f-MLP. Small amounts of the 20 kDa variant were secreted in the presence of GM-CSF. Preliminary experiments indicate that human bone marrow cells express the same GH variants. Since GH promotes myelopoiesis and granulocyte function, the project is aimed at analysing the role of GH variants in granulocytes and bone marrow. We will test the hypothesis that locally produced GH is involved in the function and development of the non-specific immune system.
Effective start/end date1/01/9831/12/01


  • medicine
  • pharmacology

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences
  • Biological sciences