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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2441;

Neurotrophic and Neuroregenerative Effects of GH/IGF1

Endocrinology and Metabolism, Clinical Center Stella Maris, Strada Rovereta, 42-47891 Falciano, San Marino
School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca via Cadore, 48-20900 Monza Brianza, Italy
Molecular Biology, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, via Cadore, 48-20900 Monza Brianza, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Introduction. Human neurodegenerative diseases increase progressively with age and present a high social and economic burden. Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are both growth factors exerting trophic effects on neuronal regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). GH and IGF-1 stimulate protein synthesis in neurons, glia, oligodendrocytes, and Schwann cells, and favor neuronal survival, inhibiting apoptosis. This study aims to evaluate the effect of GH and IGF-1 on neurons, and their possible therapeutic clinical applications on neuron regeneration in human subjects. Methods. In the literature, we searched the clinical trials and followed up studies in humans, which have evaluated the effect of GH/IGF-1 on CNS and PNS. The following keywords have been used: “GH/IGF-1” associated with “neuroregeneration”, “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis”, “Alzheimer disease”, “Parkinson’s disease”, “brain”, and “neuron”. Results. Of the retrieved articles, we found nine articles about the effect of GH in healthy patients who suffered from traumatic brain injury (TBI), and six studies (four using IGF-1 and two GH therapy) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The administration of GH in patients after TBI showed a significantly positive recovery of brain and mental function. Treatment with GH and IGF-1 therapy in ALS produced contradictory results. Conclusions. Although strong findings have shown the positive effects of GH/IGF-1 administration on neuroregeneration in animal models, a very limited number of clinical studies have been conducted in humans. GH/IGF-1 therapy had different effects in patients with TBI, evidencing a high recovery of neurons and clinical outcome, while in ALS patients, the results are contradictory. More complex clinical protocols are necessary to evaluate the effect of GH/IGF-1 efficacy in neurodegenerative diseases. It seems evident that GH and IGF-1 therapy favors the optimal recovery of neurons when a consistent residual activity is still present. Furthermore, the effect of GH/IGF-1 could be mediated by, or be overlapped with that of other hormones, such as estradiol and testosterone. View Full-Text
Keywords: growth hormone; IGF-1; neuroregeneration; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Alzheimer’s disease; peripheral nerve regeneration; testosterone; 17β-estradiol growth hormone; IGF-1; neuroregeneration; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Alzheimer’s disease; peripheral nerve regeneration; testosterone; 17β-estradiol

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bianchi, V.E.; Locatelli, V.; Rizzi, L. Neurotrophic and Neuroregenerative Effects of GH/IGF1. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2441.

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