Bollerslev J, Møller J, Thomas S, Djøseland O, Christiansen JS. Dose-dependent effects of recombinant human growth hormone on biochemical markers of bone and collagen metabolism in adult growth hormone deficiency. Eur J Endocrinol 1996:135:666–71. ISSN 0804–4643
Administration of growth hormone (GH) to patients with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) has beneficial effects, but so far has been employed only empirically. We have, therefore, investigated the dose-dependent effect of GH on target tissue by studying biochemical markers of bone and collagen turnover in GHD. Then patients with GHD (nine males and one female aged 21–43 years, mean age 28 years) participated in the study. Growth hormone deficiency was defined as a peak serum GH response of less than 15 mU/l in two provocation tests. After a 4-week run-in period, the study population received increasing doses of GH at 4-week intervals (1,2 and 4U/m2). Blood samples were collected in the fasting state at 7.00 h on the last day of each period and assayed for serum levels of osteocalcin (S-BGP), bone alkaline phosphatase (B-ALP), C-terminal propeptide of type I collagen (S-PICP), carboxy-terminal pyridinoline cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (S-ICTP) and N-terminal propeptide of type III collagen (S-PIIINP). Following replacement therapy, serum insulin-like growth factor I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 increased sequentially with time (p<0.001 and p<0.001, MANOVA) and the values were elevated significantly over baseline levels after treatment with 1 U/m2. Serum BGP values were below normal at the start of the study and increased gradually following GH treatment to levels in the low–normal range. Baseline values for serum bone alkaline phosphatase (B-ALP), PICP and PIIINP were within the normal range. The collagen parameters increased with GH replacement (p<0.001, MANOVA) to levels above normal, whereas B-ALP stayed within normal limits. Serum ICTP values were elevated above the normal range at baseline, indicating increased bone resorption in GHD. A linear increase in values was observed with GH treatment (p< 0.001, MANOVA). Serum ICTP did not correlate significantly with the bone formative parameters but was correlated positively to PIIINP. The sensitivity of S-ICTP as a bone resorptive marker is thus questioned. In conclusion, a dose-dependent increase in markers of growth hormone metabolism and in biochemical markers of both bone and non-bone collagen synthesis was seen following incremental doses of GH in GHD.
Jens Bollerslev, Department of Medical Endocrinology, National University Hospital, N-0027 Oslo, Norway