Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet, and Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. The Physiology of Childhood Growth: Hormonal Regulation. Horm Res Paediatr. 2017;88(1):6-14.
The growth patterns of a child changes from uterine life until the end of puberty. Height velocity is highest in utero and declines after birth until puberty when it rises again. Important hormonal regulators of childhood growth are growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1, sex steroids, and thyroid hormone. This review gives an overview of these hormonal regulators of growth and their interplay with nutrition and other key players such as inflammatory cytokines.
A child’s growth is affected by numerous factors where for example impaired nutritional status, a poor psychosocial situation, and a variety of chronic diseases may impair the growth rate, and if not treated appropriately these conditions may cause short adult height. Normal growth is therefore an excellent indicator of the general health of. a child . The growth rate of a child varies being highest during fetal life and infancy, slowing down during childhood, accelerating during puberty, and then ultimately ending when adult height has been reached by the end of the adolescent period . These different phases of growth are illustrated in Figure 1. In this review, we first give a brief overview of the regulation of normal growth in children and adolescents, which is followed by a more detailed description of important hormones regulating
human growth and how these interact with each other. Lastly, we discuss the impact of nutrition and inflammation on human growth.