Growth Hormone

Growth Hormone


Growth hormone (GH) is a polypeptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. The use of GH has been reported to increase the performance of athletes, mainly due to its anabolic and lipolytic effects, i.e., it increases the body mass of athletes and also decreases their fatty mass. As has been reported, the anabolic activity of GH is mediated by the generation of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), which has established it as another important molecule in the field of doping.

The difficulty for the detection of peptide hormones as doping agents is that they are triggered by the nature of the molecule administered. These peptide hormones have a short half-life in blood, which considerably shortens the time window for their detection in body fluids. In addition, hormones such as hGH can exist as a mix of multiple isoforms or degradation fragments that differ in length, sequence, rate of clearance and excretion, and biological potency. Human growth hormone is secreted in such minute quantities in urine that the development of antidoping tests for hGH in the urine matrix is not viable, notwithstanding the use of novel analyte concentration techniques.

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