Growth hormone (GH), brain development and neural stem cells.
ABSTRACT A range of observations support a role for GH in development and function of the brain. These include altered brain structure in GH receptor null mice, and impaired cognition in GH deficient rodents and in a subgroup of GH receptor defective patients (Laron dwarfs). GH has been shown to alter neurogenesis, myelin synthesis and dendritic branching, and both the GH receptor and GH itself are expressed widely in the brain. We have found a population of neural stem cells which are activated by GH infusion, and which give rise to neurons in mice. These stem cells are activated by voluntary exercise in a GH-dependent manner. Given the findings that local synthesis of GH occurs in the hippocampus in response to a memory task, and that GH replacement improves memory and cognition in rodents and humans, these new observations warrant a reappraisal of the clinical importance of GH replacement in GH deficient states.
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ABSTRACT: European eels live most of their lives in freshwater until spawning migration to the Sargasso Sea. During seawater adaptation, eels modify their physiology, and their digestive system adapts to the new environment, drinking salt water to compensate for the continuous water loss. In that period, eels stop feeding until spawning. Thus, the eel represents a unique model to understand the adaptive changes of the enteric nervous system (ENS) to modified salinity and starvation. To this purpose, we assessed and compared the enteric neuronal density in the cranial portion of the intestine of freshwater eels (control), lagoon eels captured in brackish water before their migration to the Sargasso Sea (T0), and starved seawater eels hormonally induced to sexual maturity (T18; 18 weeks of starvation and treatment with standardized carp pituitary extract). Furthermore, we analyzed the modification of intestinal neuronal density of hormonally untreated eels during prolonged starvation (10 weeks) in seawater and freshwater. The density of myenteric (MP) and submucosal plexus (SMP) HuC/D-immunoreactive (Hu-IR) neurons was assessed in wholemount preparations and cryosections. The number of MP and SMP HuC/D-IR neurons progressively increased from the freshwater to the salty water habitat (control > T0 > T18; P < 0.05). Compared with freshwater eels, the number of MP and SMP HuC/D-IR neurons significantly increased (P < 0.05) in the intestine of starved untreated salt water eels. In conclusion, high salinity evokes enteric neuroplasticity as indicated by the increasing number of HuC/D-IR MP and SMP neurons, a mechanism likely contributing to maintaining the body homeostasis of this fish in extreme conditions.Journal of Anatomy 02/2014; 224(2):180-91. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that growth hormone (GH) expression is not confined exclusively to the pituitary somatotrophs as it is synthesized in many extrapituitary locations. The nervous system is one of those extrapituitary sites. In this brief review we summarize data that substantiate the expression, distribution and characterization of neural GH and detail its roles in neural function, including cellular growth, proliferation, differentiation, neuroprotection and survival, as well as its functional roles in behavior, cognition and neurotransmission. Although systemic GH may exert some of these effects, it is increasingly evident that locally expressed neural GH, acting through intracrine, autocrine or paracrine mechanisms, may also be causally involved as a neurotrophic factor.General and Comparative Endocrinology 05/2014; · 2.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A number of studies, in animals and humans, describe the positive effects of the growth hormone (GH) treatment combined with rehabilitation on brain reparation after brain injury. We examined the effect of GH treatment and rehabilitation in adult rats with severe frontal motor cortex ablation. Thirty-five male rats were trained in the paw-reaching-for-food task and the preferred forelimb was recorded. Under anaesthesia, the motor cortex contralateral to the preferred forelimb was aspirated or sham-operated. Animals were then treated with GH (0.15mg/kg/day, s.c) or vehicle during 5 days, commencing immediately or 6 days post-lesion. Rehabilitation was applied at short- and long-term after GH treatment. Behavioral data were analized by ANOVA following Bonferroni post hoc test. After sacrifice, immunohistochemical detection of glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) and nestin were undertaken in the brain of all groups. Animal group treated with GH immediately after the lesion, but not any other group, showed a significant improvement of the motor impairment induced by the motor lesion, and their performances in the motor test were no different from sham-operated controls. GFAP immunolabeling and nestin immunoreactivity were observed in the perilesional area in all injured animals; nestin immunoreactivity was higher in GH-treated injured rats (mainly in animals GH-treated 6 days post-lesion). GFAP immunoreactivity was similar among injured rats. Interestingly, nestin re-expression was detected in the contralateral undamaged motor cortex only in GH-treated injured rats, being higher in animals GH-treated immediately after the lesion than in animals GH-treated 6 days post-lesion. Early GH treatment induces significant recovery of the motor impairment produced by frontal cortical ablation. GH effects include increased neurogenesis for reparation (perilesional area) and for increased brain plasticity (contralateral motor area).Behavioural brain research 03/2013; · 3.22 Impact Factor