GH also appears to play an important role in the newly described phenomenon termed neurogenesis, or new neuronal division in the CNS. A major mediator of the trophic effects of GH throughout the body is a mediating hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), with increased gene expression of IGF-I through GH exposure (Pankov, 1999). It has been recently demonstrated that IGF-I has a clear stimulatory effect on both cell proliferation and neurogen-esis in the rodent hippocampus (Anderson, Aberg, Nilsson, & Eriksson, 2002), providing indirect confirmation of GH involvement in neurotrophic processes. Because it appears a range of antidepressant and mood stabilizing interventions increase neurogenesis, the blunted GH response to clonidine observed in PD, depression, and GAD should be considered within the context of GH-sensitive IGFs as promoters of neuroprotection and neurogenesis. Studies of GH secretion hyposecretion are therefore informative as a peripheral index of central neuroprotection and also a possible site for neuroprotective deficits in Mood and Anxiety Disorders.
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Jeremy D. Coplan
State University of New York, Brooklyn
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
See also: Depression, Neurotransmitter
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