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Pediatr Nephrol. 2005 Mar;20(3):313-8. Epub 2005 Feb 4.

Growth hormone resistance in uremia, a role for impaired JAK/STAT signaling.

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  • 1Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA. rabkin@stanford.edu


Resistance to growth hormone (GH) is a significant complication of advanced chronic renal failure. Thus while the circulating GH levels are normal or even elevated in uremia, resistance to the hormone leads to stunting of body growth in children and contributes to muscle wasting in adults. Insensitivity to GH is the consequence of multiple defects in the GH/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) system. Expression of the GH receptor may be reduced, although this is not a consistent finding, GH activation of the Janus kinase 2-signal transducer (JAK2) and activator of transcription (STAT) signal transduction pathway is depressed and this leads to reduced IGF-1 expression, and finally there is resistance to IGF-1, a major mediator of GH action. We review these various defects with an emphasis on the GH-activated JAK2-STAT5 pathway, since this pathway is essential for normal body growth and there has been recent progress in our understanding of the perturbations that occur in uremia.

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