Kinetics of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and IGF-binding protein responses to a single dose of growth hormone

Phillip D.K. Lee, Susan K. Durham, Victor Martinez, Oswaldo Vasconez, David R. Powell, Jaime Guevara-Aguirre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The in vivo physiological relationships among GH, the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), and the IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) are not completely defined, and single random measurements of these serum proteins do not completely reveal their dynamic relationships. We report the kinetic responses of the IGFs and IGF-binding proteins to exogenous GH in 23 subjects with untreated GH deficiency [5 women and 18 men; age, 15.0 ± 6.2 yr (±SD), height z-score=-4.4 ± 2.2 (±SD); body mass index 19.3 ± 2.4 kg/m2]. After an overnight fast, subjects were given a sc dose of recombinant human GH (2.85 IU/m2), and blood was sampled from an indwelling peripheral venous catheter 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 24 h after the injection. Subjects were then treated with recombinant human GH (2.85 IU/m2·day); fasting samples were obtained at 3 months (n=22), and timed sampling was repeated at 6 months (n= 21). Fasting levels of IGF-I, free IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-3, and insulin increased significantly within 3 months of GH treatment, whereas IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-6 showed no change. In the timed sampling studies at 0 and6 months, GH levels peaked 3 h after treatment; the degree of rise and the rate of decline were both greater at 6 months. IGF-I levels increased beginning at 4 h, continuing throughout the 24-h period at month 0, whereas a plateau was observed after 6-8 h during the 6-month study. Free IGF-I paralleled total IGF-I except during fasting, when it varied inversely with IGFBP-1, IGFBP-3 and IGF-II both showed late (>20 h) responses to a dose of GH, whereas IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-6 showed minimal changes. IGFBP-1 varied inversely with insulin, which, in turn, varied with meal intake. Comparative studies in 2 subjects with GH receptor deficiency showed no response to exogenous GH. However, both IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-2 were several-fold elevated, and IGFBP-1 varied inversely with the low insulin levels. Our data are the first to examine multiple elements of the serum IGF system in response to GH in both GH-deficient and replete states. The relationships of the different response patterns provide insight into the physiology of this system and may guide future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2266-2274
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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