Increased Expression of Insulin-like Growth Factor-I in Serum and Liver after Recombinant Human Growth Hormone Administration in Thermally Injured Rats
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BACKGROUND: Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) has been shown to modulate the hypermetabolic response and the hepatic acute-phase response after thermal injury. In vitro studies, however, demonstrated that rhGH activates insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) gene transcription and production, suggesting that rhGH may exert some of its effects indirectly through IGF-I stimulation. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of rhGH on serum and hepatic IGF-I in thermally injured rats. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats (56 males) receiving a 60% TBSA third-degree scald burn were randomly divided to receive either rhGH (2.5 mg/kg/day im) or saline (control). Rats were sacrificed on postburn days 1, 2, 5, and 7 and serum IGF-I, hepatic IGF-I mRNA, and IGF-I protein concentration were measured. The physiologic response to changes in IGF-I levels was evaluated by measuring hepatocyte proliferation, total liver protein concentration, and muscle dry/wet weights. RESULTS: Serum IGF-I was increased from postburn day 1 through day 7 in rats receiving rhGH compared to controls (P < 0.05). Hepatic IGF-I mRNA and IGF-I protein expression were increased from day 1 to 7 after burn in animals receiving rhGH when compared to controls (P < 0.05). Recombinant hGH increased hepatocyte proliferation at 5 days and total liver protein concentration at 5 and 7 days postburn compared to controls (P < 0.05). Muscle dry/wet weights increased in rats receiving rhGH at 7 days after burn compared to controls (P < 0.05). SUMMARY: Liver and serum IGF-I levels decreased after a thermal injury. Recombinant hGH attenuated this decrease by stimulating hepatic IGF-I expression. Increases in IGF-I were associated with increases in hepatocyte proliferation and protein concentration in liver and muscle. CONCLUSION: We suggest that rhGH modulates the hypermetabolic response through IGF-I stimulation in the hepatic parenchyma.
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