Growth hormone releasing activity of hexarelin in Down syndrome

Letizia Ragusa, Antonino Alberti, Corrado Romano, Caterina Proto, Jaele Bellone, Fabio Colabucci, Bruno P. Imbimbo, Ezio Ghigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hexarelin (Hex) is a new synthetic GH-releasing peptide (GHRP) which has a potent dose-dependent stimulatory effect on GH secretion in man. The authors studied the GH secretion response in 12 subjects affected by Down syndrome (DS) following 2 μg/kg i.v. administration of Hex. The GH releasing effect was compared with that obtained after clonidine test (CT), insulin tolerance test (ITT), GH releasing hormone test (GHRH), and GHRH plus pyridostigmine (P) test. The results show that Hex is a potent GH stimulator in DS. Its response is similar to GHRH plus P and higher than CT, ITT, and even GHRH. Thus it may be useful for evaluating the secretory capacity of somatotroph cells. The possible use of Hex in chronic treatment to increase GH secretion and growth velocity could be also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopmental Brain Dysfunction
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Down syndrome
  • Growth hormone
  • Hexarelin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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