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

The release of growth hormone ( GH): relation to the thyrotropic- and corticotropic axis in the chicken.

In the chicken and other avian species, the secretion of GH is under a dual stimulatory and inhibitory control of hypothalamic hypophysiotropic factors. Additionally, the thyrotropin-releasing hormone ( TRH), contrary to the mammalian situation, is also somatotropic and equally important in releasing GH in chick embryos and juvenile chicks compared to the (mammalian) growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) itself. Consequently, the negative feedback loop for GH release not only involves the insulin-like growth factor IGF-I but also thyroid hormones. In adult chickens, TRH does no longer have a clear thyrotropic activity, whereas its somatotropic activity depends on the feeding status of the animal. In addition, as in mammals, the secretion of GH and glucocorticoids is stimulated by ghrelin, a novel peptide predominantly synthesized in the gastrointestinal tract. Two chicken isoforms of the ghrelin receptor have been identified, both of which are highly expressed in the hypothalamus and pituitary, suggesting that a stimulatory effect may be directed at these levels. GH and glucocorticoids control the peripheral thyroid hormone function by down-regulating the hepatic type III deiodinating enzyme (D3) in embryos ( GH and glucocorticoids) and in juvenile and adult chickens ( GH). Moreover, glucocorticoids help to regulate T3-homeostasis in the brain during embryogenesis by stimulating the type II deiodinase (D2) expression. This way not only a multifactorial release mechanism exists for GH but also a functional entanglement of activities between the somatotropic-, thyrotropic- and corticotropic axis.[1]


  1. The release of growth hormone (GH): relation to the thyrotropic- and corticotropic axis in the chicken. Kühn, E.R., Geelissen, S.M., Van der Geyten, S., Darras, V.M. Domest. Anim. Endocrinol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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