Recombinant Human Growth Hormone Alters Acute Phase Reactant Proteins, Cytokine Expression, and Liver Morphology in Burned Rats
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BACKGROUND: The effects of exogenous recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) on hepatic acute phase reactant proteins, cytokine expression, and liver morphology were studied in thermally injured rats to define whether rhGH alters the acute phase response. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats (56 males) receiving a 60% TBSA third-degree scald burn were randomly divided into two groups to receive either 2.5 mg/kg/day sc rhGH or saline. Rats were sacrificed on Postburn Days 1, 2, 5, and 7. Serum acute phase reactant proteins and cytokines TNF-alpha, IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6 were measured. Hepatocyte proliferation, hepatic cytokine gene expression, and liver protein concentrations were determined. RESULTS: Recombinant hGH increased serum albumin on Days 5 and 7 after burn (P < 0.05). Serum haptoglobin and alpha1-acid glycoprotein levels decreased at 2, 5, and 7 days after burn compared to saline (P < 0.05). In rats treated with rhGH, serum IL-1beta decreased 1 day postburn, while serum TNF-alpha increased 5 days after burn compared to saline (P < 0.05). Serum IL-6 and IL-1alpha did not change. Hepatic RNA levels for TNF-alpha were significantly elevated on Day 1 postburn compared to saline (P < 0. 05). Hepatic protein content increased on Days 2, 5, and 7 postburn compared to saline (P < 0.05). Hepatocyte proliferation in rhGH-treated rats increased on Day 5 after burn (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Data indicate that rhGH alters the hepatic acute phase response by decreasing type I acute phase proteins and modulating IL-1-like cytokine expression. These changes are associated with increased hepatocyte mitosis and serum and total liver protein concentrations.
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