Growth, the main characteristic of childhood and adolescence, has a similar pattern in the majority of the individuals. Genetic background and GH-IGF axis are the factors that directly influence this process. Pituitary GH acts on growth mainly through the regulation of IGF system. The IGFs (IGF-1 and IGF-2) are growth factors produced in the majority of the organs and body tissues. They have autocrine, paracrine and endocrine actions on metabolism and cell proliferation, growth and differentiation. The IGFs bind with high specificity and affinity to a family of 6 binding proteins, called IGFBPs (1 to 6) that modulate their bioactivity. Most of the known IGF actions are mediated via IGF type 1 receptor (IGF1R). In this article we are going to review the composition and regulation of the GH-IGF axis and the role of each component in the regulation of the growth process.
GH; IGF-1; IGF-2; IGFBP; IGF1R; Growth