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Growth hormone may boost production of disease-fighting cells in elderly

ne wane, and fat accumulates not only in readily visible areas of the body but also within bone marrow, where it fills a void created by a declining number of hematopoietic cells.

The researchers wrote that they favor the view that IGF-I is the critical molecule that acts directly on progenitor cells to promote hematopoiesis. IGF-I, a protein, is a growth factor that is released from the liver and local tissues after stimulation by growth hormone. It is considered a key regulator of body growth, including muscle synthesis.

Kelleys team implanted either synthetic growth hormone-secreting pituitary epithelial cells or injected recombinant growth hormone into their experimental rats. Both approaches yielded positive changes.

Previous research, based on a simplistic approach of preparing single-cell suspensions from whole tissue and counting the resulting cells after adding growth hormone, the authors wrote, had led to the belief that growth hormone only partially reversed age-associated declines in the production of hematopoietic tissue. Kelleys team used histological techniques, which allowed researchers to clearly see the effects of their delivery of growth hormone on the hematopoietic tissue. What they discovered, they wrote, is the most complete morphological restoration of the production of these cells that has ever been reported.


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Contact: Jim Barlow
b-james3@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
6-Feb-2002


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