Philip Murray graduated in Medicine from Glasgow University and trained in pediatrics in Manchester, Melbourne, and London. He now works as National Institute Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Lecturer in pediatric endocrinology at the University of Manchester and Royal Manchester Children' Hospital.
Endocrine Control of Growth
Article first published online: 23 APR 2013
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Special Issue: Molecular Mechanisms of Childhood Overgrowth
Volume 163, Issue 2, pages 76–85, May 2013
How to Cite
2013. Endocrine control of growth. Am J Med Genet Part C Semin Med Genet. 9999:1–10., .
The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest.
- Issue published online: 23 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 23 APR 2013
- growth hormone;
Human growth is a complex process starting at conception and completing in adolescence at the time of growth plate fusion. Growth can be divided into four phases: (1) fetal, where the predominant endocrine factors controlling growth are insulin and the insulin-like growth factors. (2) Infancy, where growth is mainly dependent upon nutrition. (3) Childhood, where the growth hormone–insulin-like growth factor-I (GH-IGF-I) axis and thyroid hormone are most important. (4) Puberty, where along with the GH-IGF-I axis the activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary–gonadal axis to generate sex steroid secretion becomes vital to the completion of growth. GH is released from the pituitary in a pulsatile fashion under the control of GHRH, Ghrelin, and somatostatin and, via a complex signal transduction cascade, initiates the release of IGF-I within many tissues but predominantly the liver and at the growth plate. IGF-I acts in an autocrine and paracrine manner via the IGF-I receptor to stimulate cell proliferation and longitudinal growth. Activation of the pituitary–gonadal axis during puberty occurs via a complex interaction of factors including kisspeptin, leptin, gonadotrophin releasing hormone, and tachykinin ultimately leading to augmentation of GH secretion, the pubertal growth spurt, and fusion of the growth plates. Many other hormones can affect the GH-IGF-I system or directly affect cell proliferation at the growth plate including thyroid hormone, vitamin D, and corticosteroids. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.