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Endocrinology. 2011 Oct;152(10):3791-802. doi: 10.1210/en.2011-1217. Epub 2011 Jul 26.

Differential effects of growth hormone versus insulin-like growth factor-I on the mouse plasma proteome.

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  • 1Edison Biotechnology Institute, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, USA.


The GH/IGF-I axis has both pre- and postpubertal metabolic effects. However, the differential effects of GH and/or IGF-I on animal physiology or the plasma proteome are still being unraveled. In this report, we analyzed several physiological effects along with the plasma proteome after treatment of mice with recombinant bovine GH or recombinant human IGF-I. GH and IGF-I showed similar effects in increasing body length, body weight, lean and fluid masses, and organ weights including muscle, kidney, and spleen. However, GH significantly increased serum total cholesterol, whereas IGF-I had no effect on it. Both acute and longer-term effects on the plasma proteome were determined. Proteins found to be significantly changed by recombinant bovine GH and/or recombinant human IGF-I injections were identified by mass spectrometry (MS) and MS/MS. The identities of these proteins were further confirmed by Western blotting analysis. Isoforms of apolipoprotein A4, apolipoprotein E, serum amyloid protein A-1, clusterin, transthyretin, and several albumin fragments were found to be differentially regulated by GH vs. IGF-I in mouse plasma. Thus, we have identified several plasma protein biomarkers that respond specifically and differentially to GH or IGF-I and may represent new physiological targets of these hormones. These findings may lead to better understanding of the independent biological effects of GH vs. IGF-I. In addition, these novel biomarkers may be useful for the development of tests to detect illicit use of GH or IGF-I.

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