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Endocrinology. 1997 Mar;138(3):1066-71.

Basal and growth hormone-induced hepatic messenger ribonucleic acid expression of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF-binding protein-3 is independent of hyperinsulinemia and increased energy status in the genetically obese Zucker rat.

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Servicio de Endocrinología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.


Genetically obese Zucker rats, like obese humans, have normal or elevated circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels in the presence of low GH secretion. Hyperinsulinemia, increased energy status, or other nutritional factors associated with obesity could be responsible for these findings directly by increasing hepatic IGF-I production at the transcriptional or posttranscriptional level. Alternatively, circulating IGF-I could be modulated indirectly by affecting its binding proteins. To further elucidate this point, we quantitated hepatic IGF-I, IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), and GH receptor messenger RNAs (mRNAs) expression in obese Zucker rats under different serum GH and insulin conditions using lean rats as controls. Eleven-week-old male rats were studied basally (intact) or after hypophysectomy (hx) at 9 weeks. In each condition, animals were killed before or 6 h after one dose of recombinant human GH (1.5 micrograms/g body weight ip). At this time, in addition to the mRNA expression of the above-mentioned genes, body weight, glycemia, insulinemia, serum GH (rat and human), and serum IGF-I levels were determined. Obese Zucker rats were significantly heavier than controls in all the conditions studied and did not show differences in glycemia. Severely hyperinsulinemic intact obese rats (146.9 +/- 14 vs. 46.3 +/- 3 microU/ml, P < 0.001) showed compared with intact lean rats significantly lower serum GH (2.39 +/- 0.9 vs. 4.98 +/- 0.68 ng/ml, P < 0.01), decreased hepatic IGF-I mRNA and IGFBP-3 mRNA accumulation (IGF-Ia: 79 +/- 5.9% vs. 100 +/- 0.9%, P < 0.05; IGF-Ib: 67 +/- 5.5% vs. 100.1 +/- 1.9%, P < 0.001; IGFBP-3: 54.7 +/- 2.75% vs. 100.5 +/- 1.55%, P < 0.001), and similar circulating IGF-I levels (1439 +/- 182 vs. 1516 +/- 121 ng/ml). Under comparable serum GH levels in GH-treated intact, hx, and GH-treated hx animals, hyperinsulinemia and/or increased body weight present in obese rats were not associated with increased hepatic IGF-I and IGFBP-3 mRNA amount. No differences in GH receptor/GH-binding protein mRNAs were found in any experimental condition. These results suggest that in vivo the imbalance of the serum GH/IGF-I axis present in obesity is primarily due to events distal to the hepatic IGF-I and IGFBP-3 mRNAs expression, which is tightly correlated to GH levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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