Effects of growth hormone and estrogen on T lymphocytes in older women

Robert S Bonello, Robert Marcus, Daniel Bloch, Samuel Strober

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect on peripheral blood T lymphocytes of recombinant human growth hormone administered to healthy older women. DESIGN: Prospective, open study. SETTING: Veterans Administration clinical research unit and community surrounding Palo Alto, California. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty- three women were recruited in two age groups: 20 to 40 years (n = 13) and 70 years or older (n = 24). Subjects were healthy, community-dwelling volunteers. INTERVENTIONS: Recombinant human growth hormone at a dose of 0.025 mg/kg body weight/day was administered to the older subjects by daily subcutaneous injection over a 6-month study period. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean percentage and number of peripheral blood CD45RA+ ('naive') T cells, mean counts per minute (CPM) of [3H]-thymidine incorporation following stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells with phytohemaglutinin (T cell proliferation). RESULTS: Before therapy, mean percentage and number of peripheral blood CD45RA+ T cells and T cell proliferative responses were significantly reduced in older compared with younger women. The fraction of older women with CD45RA+ T cell levels or T cell proliferative responses in the young range was significantly decreased in those who were receiving estrogen (1/10) compared with those who were not (9/14). After treatment with growth hormone, there were no significant changes in the mean CD45RA+ T cell levels or proliferative responses of the older women. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that T cell changes associated with the age-related decline in secretion of growth hormone cannot be reversed by growth hormone therapy during the eighth decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1038-1042
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1996


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