Kratzsch J. Blum WF, Ventz M, Selisko T, Birkenmeyer G, Keller E. Growth hormone-binding proteinrelated immunoreactivity in the serum of patients with acromegaly is regulated inversely by growth hormone concentration. Eur J Endocrinol 1994;132:306–12. ISSN 0804–4643
In this report we describe a newly developed radioimmunoassay (RIA) for the determination of the high-affinity growth hormone-binding protein (GHBP) in human blood. Using this RIA for the measurement of GHBP in serum of 29 patients with acromegaly, decreased concentrations were found compared to the normal range, depending on the activity of the disease. Growth hormonebinding protein was correlated inversely to log GH (r = −0.7, p < 0.001). A weaker relationship was shown between the GHBP activity determined in a functional assay based on charcoal separation and log GH (r = −0.51, p< 0.01). While insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) were correlated directly to log GH (r = 0.77 and r = 0.66, p < 0.001), an inverse and weaker relationship was evident between GHBP measured by RIA and IGF-I or IGFBP-3 (r = −0.61 and r = −0.57,p < 0.01). In contrast, no correlation could be detected between data of the functional GHBP assay and IGF-I or IGFBP-3, These results suggest, that: (1) in patients with acromegaly the GH receptor density in tissue reflected by the GHBP serum levels seems to be down-regulated, depending on the increased GH level; (2) low GHBP concentrations indicate an active disease in acromegaly and may be of diagnostic interest; (3) presuming that the GH receptor density is related to GH sensitivity, the variation of GH sensitivity is less important for IGF-I and IGFBP-3 production than the circulating GH concentration, at least in the situation of acromegaly; (4) because endogenous GH does not interfere in that assay, the RIA provides a valuable tool for the investigation of regulations between GH, GHBP and the GH receptor, especially in patients with acromegaly. The GHBP levels may be used as a sensitive parameter of GH oversecretion and tissue sensitivity to this hormone.
Jürgen Kratzsch, Inst. Clin. Chem., University of Leipzig, Paul-List-Str. 13–15, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany