We have been dedicated to pituitary endocrinology for many years and it originates from in-house development of radioimmunoassays to measure growth hormone (GH), somatostatin, insulin and glucagon in 1968. The early achievements included demonstration of GH hypersecretion in poorly controlled diabetic patients and the observation that somatostatin suppresses insulin secretion. Subsequently, the department showed that constant infusion of octreotide by means of a subcutaneous pump provided more sustained control of GH hypersecretion in patients with acromegaly, which paved the way for the development of slow-release formulations of somatostatin analogues for treatment of acromegaly. We were also the first to show that daily subcutaneous injections of GH constitute a more efficacious route of administration. Until today, this remains the standard of care. This occurred concomitantly with our development of numerous novel assays for measuring components of the GH-IGF axis including free and bioactive IGF-I. In 1989 we published the first and investigator-initiated study of GH substitution in hypopituitary adults with GH-deficiency, which has been a licensed indication since 1994. At present we focus on clinical as well as experimental studies in GH-related disorders including the interplay with other hormones such as ghrelin.

A particular emphasis is put on the hormonal effects on substrate metabolism in target tissues such as muscle and fat and development of novel biomarkers including interstitial IGF-I, GH signaling proteins, novel target genes by means of gene arrays and NGS; we also use proteomics and metabolomics for these purposes.

In addition to this we have for 15 years collaborated with research groups in the UK, Sweden and Italy to develop viable methods for the detection of GH doping, which recently translated into a newly approved method, the so-called biomarker method.


Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen, Professor, Department Chair and Centre Chair, MD, DMSci, joj@ki.au.dk