Grottoli S, Maccario M, Procopio M, Oleandri SE, Arvat E, Gianotti L, Deghenghi R, Camanni F, Ghigo E. Somatotrope responsiveness to Hexarelin, a synthetic hexapeptide, is refractory to the inhibitory effect of glucose in obesity. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;135:678–82. ISSN 0804–4643
Both spontaneous and stimulated growth hormone (GH) secretion is reduced in obesity, in which state insensitivity to the inhibitory effect of hyperglycemiacemia also has been reported. To further investigate this point, in eight male obese (OB) patients (27–49 years old; body mass index = 39.5 ± 1.7 kg/m2) we studied the effect of oral glucose load (100 g) on the GH response to Hexarelin (HEX, 2 μg/kg iv), a synthetic hexapeptide belonging to the GH-releasing peptide family, which has been reported to be able to induce a marked GH rise even in obese patients. As a control group, six male age-matched normal subjects (NS) were studied (26–35 years old; body mass index = 22.3 ± 1.5 kg/m2). In all subjects the GH response to growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH, 1 μg/kg iv) was also studied. Basal GH and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels in OB and NS were similar (0.3 ± 0.1 vs 0.5 ± 1.0 μg/l and 166.7 ± 12.3 vs 145.4 ± 6.9 μg/l, respectively). Hexarelin induced a clear GH rise in OB (peak: 20.0 ± 2.9 μg/l; AUC: 1193.0 ± 213.7 μg·l−1·120 min−1) but this response was clearly lower (p < 0.0002) than that observed in NS (62.6 ± 7.3 μg/l, 4587.5 ± 614.9 μg·l −1·120 min−1). The GHRH-induced GH rise was lower (p < 0.002) in OB (4.4 ± 1.2 μg/l, 331.0 ± 95.9 μg·l−1·120 min−1) than that in NS (20.2 ± 1.9 μg/l, 1281.0 ± 157.5 μg·l−1·120 min−1) and both were lower (p < 0.05) than those induced by HEX. In NS, glucose significantly blunted the GH response to HEX (38.4 ± 7.2 μg/l, 2236.5 ± 514.8 μg·l−1·120 min−1, p < 0.05) but failed to modify it in OB (19.4 ± 2.7 μg/l, 934.5 ± 151.3 μg·l−1·120 min−1). Plasma glucose peaks after oral glucose load in OB and NS were similar (164.5 ± 9.7 vs 145.8 ± 4.6 mg/dl). In conclusion, the present data demonstrate that, in contrast to normal subjects, in obese patients HEX has a reduced GH-releasing effect that is not inhibited by glucose. In OB patients as well as in normal subjects HEX releases more GH than GHRH. These findings strengthen the evidence that GH secretion in obesity is refractory either to stimulatory inputs or to the inhibitory effect of hyperglycemia.
E Ghigo, Divisione di Endocrinologia, Ospedale Molinette, C.so A.M. Dogliotti 14, 10126 Torino, Italy