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

Atenolol enhances nocturnal growth hormone (GH) release in GH-deficient children during long term GH-releasing hormone therapy.

The effect of the selective beta 1-adrenergic blocking agent atenolol (50 or 100 mg, orally) on spontaneous and GH-releasing hormone (GHRH)-stimulated GH release was evaluated in six GH-deficient children during long term therapy with GHRH. Nocturnal GH concentrations were determined every 20 min for 12 h under the following four conditions: 1) control, 2) atenolol administration only, 3) sc GHRH administration only, and 4) combined GHRH and atenolol administration. The mean 12-h nocturnal GH concentrations after administration of atenolol alone [2.4 +/- 0.6 microgram/L (mean +/- SEM)] or GHRH alone (2.7 +/- 1.0 micrograms/L) were indistinguishable from baseline values (2.0 +/- 0.5 microgram/L; P greater than 0.05). In contrast, the addition of atenolol to ongoing GHRH therapy caused a clear augmentation of 12-h overnight GH release compared to that during all other study periods (5.0 +/- 1.3 micrograms/L; P less than 0.05). In a subset of three subjects for whom GH pulse characteristics were determined, the primary mode of the enhanced GH release was through an increase in the amplitude of serum GH pulses. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that beta-adrenergic blocking compounds enhance the responsivity of the pituitary gland to agents that permit GH release by inhibiting hypothalamic somatostatin secretion or action. They suggest that atenolol may have potential as an adjunctive therapy in some children with abnormalities of GH secretion when GHRH is the primary therapeutic agent.[1]


  1. Atenolol enhances nocturnal growth hormone (GH) release in GH-deficient children during long term GH-releasing hormone therapy. Martha, P.M., Blizzard, R.M., Thorner, M.O., Rogol, A.D. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1990) [Pubmed]
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