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ABSTRACT: Background. Published data regarding effects of growth hormone (GH) on the renin system are controversial. The aim of this study therefore was to evaluate the effects of GH on the renin system in normal rats and rats with myocardial infarction (MI). Methods. Normal rats received 2, 5, or 10 IU GH/kg/day or vehicle subcutaneously for 4 weeks. Furthermore rats with MI were randomized to receive 2 IU GH/kg/day or vehicle for 4 weeks. Subdivision into MI groups (mild, moderate, and large) was by histological determination of infarct size. Renal renin gene expression was assessed by RNAase protection assay and plasma renin activity by radioimmunoassay. In addition, isolated mouse juxtaglomerular cells were exposed to GH for 20 h, and renin secretion rates were assessed. Results. GH treatment in normal rats for 4 weeks increased body weight, and kidney weight to body weight ratio, but did not affect renin secretion and renal renin gene expression. In rats with large MI, renal renin gene expression increased about fourfold, but was unchanged in rats with small and moderate MI as compared to normal rats. In rats with MI, body weight decreased and this decrease was partially reversed by GH treatment. GH treatment did not change renal renin gene expression, and renin secretion in rats with MI. Renin secretion of isolated juxtaglomerular cells was unaffected by GH. Conclusions. Our study demonstrates that GH treatment has no significant effect on renin secretion and on renal renin gene expression in normal rats and in rats with stimulated renin system due to MI in vivo. In isolated juxtaglomerular cells in vitro , renin secretion was also unaffected by GH.