JOURNAL ARTICLE

Insulin secretion in growth hormone-deficient adults: effects of 24 months' therapy and five days' acute withdrawal of recombinant human growth hormone

N Kamarudin, F L Hew, M Christopher, J Alford, C Rantzau, G Ward, F Alford
Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental 1999, 48 (11): 1387-96
10582546
Beta-cell function in growth hormone (GH)-deficient (GHD) adults is poorly documented. Beta-cell function was therefore studied in 10 GHD adults (age, 40+/-3 years; weight, 79.3+/-4.8 kg; body mass index [BMI], 27.5+/-1.3 kg x m(-2)) before and after 6- and 24-month recombinant human GH (rhGH) therapy (0.24 IU x kg(-1) x wk(-1)) compared with 10 age-, sex-, weight-, and BMI-matched control subjects. With rhGH therapy, fat-free mass (FFM) increased (48.2+/-4.9, 52.5+/-4.8, and 59+/-6.8 kg, respectively) and fat mass (FM) decreased (33.8%+/-2.8%, 28.0%+/-3.0%, and 29.4%+/-2.5%, respectively), as did serum cholesterol. Oral glucose tolerance initially deteriorated at 6 months, but improved toward the control value by 24 months. Fasting insulin (FI) increased significantly, as did the acute insulin response to oral glucose (deltaAIR(OGTT)/deltaG) at 30 minutes (FI: pretreatment 9.8+/-0.8, 6 months, 14.0+/-1.8, 24 months 12.5+/-1.6 v control 11.4+/-1.9 mU x L(-1); deltaAIR(OGTT)/deltaG: pretreatment 201+/-24, 6 months 356+/-41, 24 months 382+/-86 v control 280+/-47 mU x mmol(-1)). However, the acute insulin response to intravenous (IV) glucose (AIR(G)) and IV glucagon at euglycemia and hyperglycemia did not change with rhGH therapy and were similar to the control group values. Importantly, the expected reciprocal relationships (as observed for the control group) between the various insulin secretory parameters and insulin sensitivity (SI) either were not present or were statistically weak in GHD subjects, despite the 35% decrease in SI by 24 months of rhGH therapy. In particular, over time, there was an attenuation of insulin secretion with respect to the ongoing insulin resistance with rhGH therapy, particularly for AIR(G) at 24 months. After 5 days of rhGH withdrawal, insulin secretion decreased and SI improved in GHD subjects. It is concluded that the current long-term rhGH treatment regimens appear to impact on insulin secretion such that the normal relationships between insulin secretion and SI are altered despite the favorable impact on body composition and serum lipid profiles.

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