Immune function in hypopituitarism: Time to reconsider?

Annice Mukherjee, Matthew Helbert, Julian Davis, Stephen Shalet

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Hypopituitarism is not currently considered as a potential cause of immune disruption in humans. Accumulating data from in vitro and animal models support a role for the pituitary gland in immune regulation. Furthermore, the increased mortality risk noted in patients with adult hypopituitarism remains poorly explained and immune dysfunction could conceivably contribute to this observation. In a recent issue of Clinical & Experimental Immunology, we presented new data relating to immune status in adults with treated, severe hypopituitarism. We observed humoral immune deficiency in a significant proportion, despite stable pituitary replacement, including growth hormone (GH). This was especially evident in those with low pretreatment IGF-I levels and appeared independent of anticonvulsant use or corticosteroid replacement. These observations require substantiation with future studies. In this short review, we summarize existing data relating to the effects of pituitary hormones on immune function and discuss potential clinical implications surrounding the hypothesis of immune dysregulation in severe hypopituitarism. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)425-431
    Number of pages6
    JournalClinical Endocrinology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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