Growth promotion by homocysteic acid

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Science  23 Apr 1976:
Vol. 192, Issue 4237, pp. 372-374
DOI: 10.1126/science.1257770


Homocysteic acid, H03SCH2CH2CHNH2CO2H, promotes growth of hypophysectomized rats, assayed by observation of increased thickness of epiphyseal cartilage of the tibia and by observation of tail growth. Doses of homocysteic acid as low as 1 microgram per day for 4 days in the tibia assay and 2.5 milligrams per kilogram per day for 5 weeks in the tail assay were effective in promoting growth. Serum somatomedin activity, determined by the porcine cartilage disk assay, was also increased by homocysteic acid. These findings relate an area of sulfur amino acid metabolism to the physiological action of growth hormone, accelerated growth in homocystinuria, initiation of arteriosclerosis, and control of cellular growth.