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      Growth Hormone and Insulin Resistance

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          Abstract

          Background: Experimental data in human subjects demonstrate that growth hormone (GH) acutely inhibits glucose disposal in skeletal muscle. The insulin-antagonistic effects are clinically relevant since active acromegaly is accompanied by glucose intolerance, whereas children with GH deficiency may develop fasting hypoglycemia. At the same time, GH stimulates the turnover and oxidation of free fatty acids (FFAs), and there is experimental evidence to suggest a causal link between elevated FFA levels and insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. During fasting, the induction of insulin resistance by GH is associated with enhanced lipid oxidation and protein conservation, which seems to constitute a favorable metabolic adaptation. Conclusions: Observational data in GH-deficient adults do not indicate that GH replacement is associated with significant impairment of glucose tolerance; however, care should be taken to avoid overdosing and to monitor glycemic control.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Growth hormone receptor antagonists: discovery, development, and use in patients with acromegaly.

          An understanding of the events that occur during GH receptor (GHR) signaling has facilitated the development of a GHR antagonist (pegvisomant) for use in humans. This molecule has been designed to compete with native GH for the GHR and to prevent its proper or functional dimerization-a process that is critical for GH signal transduction and IGF-I synthesis and secretion. Clinical trials in patients with acromegaly show GHR blockade to be an exciting new mode of therapy for this condition, and pegvisomant may have a therapeutic role in diseases, such as diabetes and malignancy, in which abnormalities of the GH/IGF-I axis have been observed. This review charts the discovery and development of GHR antagonists and details the experience gained in patients with acromegaly.
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            Cotreatment of acromegaly with a somatostatin analog and a growth hormone receptor antagonist.

            Pegvisomant is a GH receptor antagonist that blocks the peripheral actions of GH in acromegaly. Pegvisomant, in contrast to somatostatin (SMS) analogs, does not suppress the activity of the GH-producing adenoma. We assessed the effects of cotreatment with pegvisomant and SMS in acromegaly on GH secretion, IGF-I levels, and glucose tolerance. Eleven patients with persistent disease despite previous therapy underwent the following fixed treatment algorithm: 1) on SMS therapy, 2) off therapy for 2 months, 3) 6-wk treatment with 10 mg/d pegvisomant, 4) 6-wk treatment with 15 mg/d pegvisomant, and 5) 3-month treatment with 15 mg pegvisomant plus SMS. Blood was sampled in the fasting state and during an oral glucose tolerance test. Total serum IGF-I levels (micrograms per liter) decreased after pegvisomant, but the lowest levels were obtained with cotreatment [458 +/- 67 (SMS), 562 +/- 78 (active), 376 +/- 51 (10 mg), 269 (15 mg), 195 +/- 24 (combined) (P < 0.0001)]. Free and bioactive IGF-I changed in a similar pattern. Steady-state pegvisomant levels (micrograms per liter) were obtained, but SMS cotreatment increased pegvisomant levels by 20% (P = 0.02) [2631 +/- 616 (10 mg), 6536 +/- 1413 (15 mg), 8030 +/- 1914 (combined)]. Pegvisomant increased endogenous GH levels (micrograms per liter), which was countered by SMS cotreatment [5.1 +/- 1.3 (SMS), 8.9 +/- 2.9 (active), 14.6 +/- 4.9 (10 mg), 19.7 +/- 6.5 (15 mg), 11.8 +/- 2.8 (combined) (P < 0.01)]. Plasma glucose levels (millimoles per liter) were highest during SMS and lowest during pegvisomant 15 mg [2-h oral glucose tolerance test: 10.3 +/- 0.7 (SMS), 8.9 +/- 0.7 (active), 7.2 +/- 0.7 (10 mg), 6.5 +/- 0.5 (15 mg), 8.0 +/- 0.8 (combined) (P = 0.02)]. Dual blockade of the GH axis with pegvisomant and a SMS analog is feasible in acromegaly.
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              Pharmacological antilipolysis restores insulin sensitivity during growth hormone exposure.

              Stimulation of lipolysis and the induction of resistance to insulin's actions on glucose metabolism are well-recognized effects of growth hormone (GH). To evaluate whether these two features are causally linked, we studied the impact of pharmacologically induced antilipolysis in seven GH-deficient patients (mean [+/- SE] age 37 +/- 4 years). Each subject was studied under four different conditions: during continuation of GH replacement alone (A), after discontinuation of GH replacement for 2 days (B), after GH replacement and short-term coadministration of acipimox (250 mg, p.o., b.i.d., for 2 days) (C), and after administration of acipimox alone (D). At the end of each study, total and regional substrate metabolisms were assessed in the basal state and after a 3-h hyperinsulinemic/euglycemic clamp. Serum levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) were elevated with GH alone (A) and suppressed with acipimox (C and D). Basal rates of lipid oxidation were highest with GH alone (A), and suppressed by 50% with acipimox (B versus D, P < 0.01; A versus C, P < 0.05). Basal glucose oxidation rates were lowest with GH alone (A) and highest with acipimox (C and D) (P = 0.01). Insulin-stimulated rates of total glucose turnover were significantly lower with GH alone as compared with all other conditions (P = 0.004). Insulin sensitivity as assessed by the M value (rate of glucose infusion) was reduced with GH alone as compared with all other conditions (M value in mg. kg(-1). min(-1): GH alone [A], 2.55 +/- 0.64; discontinuation of GH [B], 4.01 +/- 0.70; GH plus acipimox [C], 3.96 +/- 1.34; acipimox alone [D], 4.96 +/- 0.91; P < 0.01). During pharmacological antilipolysis, GH did not significantly influence insulin sensitivity (C versus D; P = 0.19). From our results, we reached the following conclusions: 1) Our data strongly suggest that the insulin antagonistic actions of GH on glucose metabolism are causally linked to the concomitant activation of lipolysis. 2) In addition, GH may induce residual insulin resistance through non-FFA-dependent mechanisms. 3) The cellular and molecular mechanisms subserving the insulin antagonistic effects of GH remain to be elucidated.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                HRE
                Horm Res Paediatr
                10.1159/issn.1663-2818
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                978-3-8055-8255-1
                978-3-318-01446-4
                1663-2818
                1663-2826
                2007
                February 2007
                15 February 2007
                : 67
                : Suppl 1
                : 33-36
                Affiliations
                Medical Department M (Endocrinology and Diabetes) and Institute of Experimental Clinical Research, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
                Article
                97549 Horm Res 2007;67:33–36
                10.1159/000097549
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, References: 13, Pages: 4
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