Effect of Growth Hormone Administration on Thymus Size, Peripheral T Lymphocyte and T Lymphocyte Subsets in Growth Hormone Deficiency

Authors: Ayşenur ÖKTEN, Yakup ASLAN, Yusuf GEDİK, Erol ERDURAN, Ahmet SARI

Abstract: Experimental evidence suggests that growth hormone (GH) has an important role in the development of T lymphocytes within the thymus. In this study, we investigated the effect of 3-month therapy with GH on the peripheral T lymphocytes, T lymphocyte subsets and thymus size with magnetic resonance imaging measurement of GH-deficient children. We found that GH-deficient chlidren had smaller thymi when compared with healthy age-matched children, but their peripheral T lymphocytes and T lymphocte subsets were within normal range. There were no change in the total peripheral T lymphocytes and T lymphocte subtsets, but thymus size significantly increased wtih GH administration. These findings suggest that GH acts as a thymopoietic agent wtithout any effect on the number of peripheral T lymhocytes.

Keywords: Growth hormone, growth hormone deficiency, thymus size, T lymphocytes.