Seminars in Vascular Medicine 2004; 4(2): 167-172
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-835375
Copyright © 2004 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA.

The Role of the Somatotropic System in Cognition and Other Cerebral Functions

Wouter M. Creyghton1 , P. Sytze van Dam1 , 2 , Hans P.F Koppeschaar1
  • 1Department of Clinical Endocrinology, University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
11 October 2004 (online)

Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) receptors can be found in several areas of the brain. GH receptors are mainly found in the choroid plexus, thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary, putamen, and hippocampus, whereas IGF-1 receptors are mainly concentrated in the hippocampus and parahippocampal areas. In early life, GH and IGF-1 have an important role in the development and differentiation of the central nervous system. In the more developed central nervous system, GH and IGF-1 are thought to have a variety of functions such as a neuroprotective function, an appetite increasing function, various cognitive functions, and perhaps a blood flow-regulating function. In GH-deficient children and adults, improvement of cognitive functions was observed after the administration of GH. Furthermore, specific cognitive functions in healthy older subjects may improve after increasing GH or IGF-1 levels.