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Physiological mechanisms that control GH secretion: identification of the pulse generator and events associated with somatotropic axis maturation

Grant number: 23/11833-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2024
Effective date (End): June 30, 2027
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Jose Donato Junior
Grantee:Lígia Maria Martins de Sousa
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:20/01318-8 - Central nervous system as a target of growth hormone for the regulation of multiple biological functions, AP.TEM


Growth hormone (GH) is synthesized and secreted by somatotropic cells located in the anterior pituitary gland. GH performs several functions in the body, controlling growth and development of almost all body tissues. In addition to its anabolic effect, GH plays an important role in regulating metabolism, whether at the peripheral or central level. The regulation of GH production and release is controlled primarily by hypothalamic neurons that are known for the expression of specific neuropeptides, including neurons expressing GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) or somatostatin (SST). It is well established in the literature that GH secretion in mammals has a pulsatile pattern, which is necessary for the regulation of somatic growth and metabolism. However, to date it is not known who is the main pulse generator of GH secretion. Thus, our first goal is to identify the neuronal population responsible for generating GH pulses and eventually the mechanisms involved in this physiological regulation. In addition, in a second subproject, we will try to reveal what changes occur at the level of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis responsible for the onset of GH secretion that occurs along with puberty. Together, the two subprojects aim to investigate the neuroendocrine mechanisms that control GH's pulsatile secretion pattern, as well as the events associated with somatotropic axis maturation in the transition from childhood to adulthood.

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