The roles of growth hormone (GH) in male reproductive health are summarized in this chapter. It has been evident in several studies that GH plays a vital physiological role in the regulation of male reproductive development and function, while the excessive release of GH can interfere with male reproductive health, sexual behavior, and fertility potentials. Several classical functions of GH include cellular proliferation, differentiation, development, and metabolism, although vast literature specifies their role in reproductive function in both humans and animals. Moreover, evidence from several studies have suggested both deficiency and overproduction of GH in adults are associated with several pathophysiological conditions, viz., metabolic derangements, central adiposity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. The GH exerts its beneficial role by binding and activation to GH-receptors (GH-Rs), expressed at several target tissues, viz., in the hypothalamus and other parts of the central nervous system, and in the male gonad (testis), including Leydig and Sertoli cells. The GH may reflect either by local autocrine or paracrine actions or by the endocrine actions. The release of certain GH such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) plays a crucial role in the regulation of male reproductive physiology, while the excessive release of GH can interfere with male sexual behavior and fertility.
Part of the book: Growth Disorders and Acromegaly