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    To revisit a finding, first described in 1978, which documented existence of a pituitary growth factor that escaped detection by immunoassay, but which was active in the established rat tibia GH bioassay. We present a narrative review of the evolution of growth hormone complexity, and its bio-detectability, from a historical perspective. In humans under the age of 60, physical training (i.e. aerobic endurance and resistance training) are stressors which preferentially stimulate release of bioactive GH (bGH) into the blood. Neuroanatomical studies indicate a) that nerve fibers directly innervate the human anterior pituitary and b) that hind limb muscle afferents, in both humans and rats, also modulate plasma bGH. In the pituitary gland itself, molecular variants of GH, somatotroph heterogeneity and cell plasticity all appear to play a role in regulation of this growth factor. This review considers more recent findings on this often forgotten/neglected subject. Comparison testing of a) human plasma samples, b) sub-populations of separated rat pituitary somatotrophs or c) purified human pituitary peptides by GH bioassay vs immunoassay consistently yield conflicting results. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Citation

    Wesley C Hymer, Mary J Kennett, Samir K Maji, Kristin L Gosselink, Gary E McCall, Richard E Grindeland, Emily M Post, William J Kraemer. Bioactive growth hormone in humans: Controversies, complexities and concepts. Growth hormone & IGF research : official journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society. 2020 Feb;50:9-22

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    PMID: 31809882

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