Regulation of the growth hormone and luteinizing hormone response to endotoxin in sheep

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Domestic Animal Endocrinology

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Infectious disease processes cause physiological adaptations in animals to reorder nutrient partitioning and other functions to support host survival. Endocrine, immune and nervous systems largely mediate this process. Using endotoxin injection as a model for catabolic disease processes (such as bacterial septicemia), we have focused our attention on regulation of growth hormone (GH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in sheep. Endotoxin produces an increase in plasma GH and a decrease in plasma LH concentrations. This pattern can be reproduced, in part, by administration of various cytokines. Antagonists to both interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) given intravenously (IV) prevented the endotoxin-stimulated increase in GH. Since endotoxin will directly stimulate GH and LH release from cultured pituitary cells, the data suggest a pituitary site of action of the endotoxin to regulate GH. Studies with portal vein cannulated sheep indicated that gonadotropin releasing hormone was inhibited by endotoxin, suggesting a central site of action of endotoxin to regulate LH. However, other studies suggest that endotoxin may also regulate LH secretion at the pituitary. Thus, IL-1 and TNF regulate GH release from the pituitary gland while endotoxin induces a central inhibition of LH release.

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