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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A comparison of the effect of levodopa and somatostatin on the plasma levels of growth hormone, insulin, glucagon and prolactin in acromegaly.

The acute suppressive effects of L-dopa and somatostatin (growth hormone release inhibiting hormone) on the elevated plasma GH concentrations of seven patients with acromegaly were compared. In addition the effects of the two agents on fasting concentrations of plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon and prolactin were studied. In six of the seven patients hourly samples for GH assay were taken from 08.00 to 20.00 hours on a control day. Synthetic cyclic somatostatin (100 mug) was infused intravenously in an albumin/saline solution over 75 min with a Harvard constant infusion pump. Levodopa 500 mg was given orally. Somatostatin infusion produced a reduction in plasma GH concentrations in six of seven patients (mean reduction 55%). L-Dopa produced a reduction in plasma GH concentrations in the same six patients (mean reduction 52%). The minimum GH concentrations achieved in the two tests were comparable and did not differ significantly from the minimum GH concentrations recorded during the 12 h control study. Mean plasma insulin and glucagon concentrations were also significantly reduced during the somatostatin infusion (P less than 0-025; P less than 0-05 respectively). Plasma glucose concentrations did not change. L-Dopa did not alter mean plasma glucose, insulin or glucagon values. Somatostatin did not alter prolactin values but L-Dopa suppressed basal values to less than 2 ng/ml in five patients. This study shows that the plasma GH change after the administration of L-dopa and somatostatin in acromegaly is comparable and confirms the pancreatic effects of somatostatin.[1]


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