Growth hormone actions during development influence adult phenotype and longevity

Academic Article


  • There is considerable evidence that exposure to undernutrition, overnutrition, stress or endocrine disruptors during fetal development can increase the probability of obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and other problems in adult life. In contrast to these findings, reducing early postnatal growth by altering maternal diet or number of pups in a litter can increase longevity. In hypopituitary Ames dwarf mice, which are remarkably long lived, a brief period of growth hormone therapy starting at 1 or 2 weeks of age reduces longevity and normalizes (“rescues”) multiple aging-related traits. Collectively, these findings indicate that nutritional and hormonal signals during development can have profound impact on the trajectory of aging. We suspect that altered “programming” of aging during development may represent one of the mechanisms of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) and the detrimental effects of “catch-up” growth.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bartke A; Sun L; Fang Y; Hill C
  • Start Page

  • 22
  • End Page

  • 27
  • Volume

  • 86