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Growth Hormone Secretion in Response to Stress in Man


A WIDE variety of emotional and physical stimuli result in increased adrenocortical activity. Thus plasma cortisol-levels rise in response to trauma, surgery, fever and hypoglycaemia1–3. This has been attributed to a stress control mechanism which depends on the integrity of a cerebro-hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal pathway and overrides the normal ‘negative-feedback’ control mechanism4. An increased secretion of growth hormone has been shown during insulin and tolbutamide induced hypoglycaemia, during exercise and during acute or chronic starvation5–8. This has been attributed to an increased demand for energy substrates and to be mediated via the hypothalamus. The possible role of stress in relation to growth hormone release does not appear to have been considered.

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GREENWOOD, F., LANDON, J. Growth Hormone Secretion in Response to Stress in Man. Nature 210, 540–541 (1966).

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