354 research outputs found

    Age-related variations in the growth hormone response to growth hormone secretagogues

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    Growth hormone (GH) secretagogues are synthetic peptidyl and non-peptidyl molecules which possess a strong, dose-dependent and reproducible GH-releasing effect after intravenous and even oral administration in humans. This effect is probably mediated via the activation of specific receptors, mainly present at the pituitary and hypothalamic level; a human pituitary GH secretogogue receptor has already been cloned, pointing to the existence of an endogenous GH secretagogue-like ligand. The GH-releasing effect of GH secretagogues is gender-independent but undergoes marked age-related variations. In fact, the effect is low at birth, increases markedly at puberty, persists at a similar level in adulthood and decreases thereafter, being already similar in middle age to that in elderly subjects. It is likely that the reduced activity of GH secretagogues in aging reflects the age-related changes in the neural control of somatotrope function. These could include the hypothetical impairment in the activity of the p..

    The Mineralocorticoid Agonist Fludrocortisone Promotes Survival and Proliferation of Adult Hippocampal Progenitors

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    Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activation has been shown to reduce adult hippocampal progenitor cell proliferation and neurogenesis. By contrast, mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) signaling is associated with neuronal survival in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, and impairment of hippocampal MR has been linked to pathological conditions, such as depression or neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we aimed to further clarify the protective role of MR in adult hippocampal neurons by studying the survival and proliferative effects of the highly potent MR agonist fludrocortisone (Fludro) in adult rat hippocampal progenitor cells (AHPs), along with the associated signaling mechanisms. Fludro, which upregulated MR but not GR expression, increased survival and proliferation and prevented apoptosis in AHPs cultured in growth factor-deprived medium. These effects were blunted by the MR antagonist spironolactone and by high doses of the GR agonist dexamethasone. Moreover, they involved signaling through cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA)/cAMP response element-binding protein, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and its downstream targets glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and mammalian target of rapamycin. Furthermore, Fludro attenuated the detrimental effects of amyloid-β peptide 1–42 (Aβ(1–42)) on cell survival, proliferation, and apoptosis in AHPs, and increased the phosphorylation of both PI3K/Akt and GSK-3β, which was reduced by Aβ(1–42). Finally, Fludro blocked Aβ(1–42)-induced hyperphosphorylation of Tau protein, which is a main feature of Alzheimer’s disease. Overall, these results are the first to show the protective and proliferative role of Fludro in AHPs, suggesting the potential therapeutic importance of targeting MR for increasing hippocampal neurogenesis and for treating neurodegenerative diseases
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