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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983 Sep;57(3):613-8.

Influence of ketone body infusion on plasma growth hormone and glucagon in man.


The influence of ketone body infusion on the serum GH and glucagon response to FFA depression and insulin hypoglycemia was investigated in 10 healthy men. Intravenous infusion of nicotinic acid induced suppression of both FFA and ketone bodies. This was accompanied by a delayed GH increase to 21.1 +/- 6.9 ng/ml (at 300 min). During an additional beta-hydroxybutyrate (OHB) infusion, FFA remained depressed, but ketone bodies were elevated, and the GH response was abolished (maximum 5.6 +/- 1.6 ng/ml). During infusion of OHB alone, FFA were suppressed. GH increased significantly, although less markedly than during suppression of both FFA and ketone bodies (to 9.3 +/- 3.1 ng/ml at 270 min). No GH rise occurred when both FFA and ketone bodies were kept elevated by the addition of a lipid infusion. The GH rise in response to insulin hypoglycemia was not changed by an OHB infusion (43.2 +/- 4.6 vs. 48.0 +/- 7.3 ng/ml). However, OHB increased the net GH output by significantly delaying the return to basal concentrations in the presence of a reduced FFA rebound. An effect of OHB infusion on the plasma glucagon concentration during all experiments was small, and its physiological significance is doubtful. These results confirm that FFA depression induces delayed GH secretion. They suggest that this is not wholly dependent on concomitant depression of ketone bodies. On the other hand, when ketone bodies are elevated, the GH response to FFA depression is diminished or absent. The net GH response to changes in lipid substrates probably depends on the concentration of both FFA and ketone bodies.

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