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Katherine M Morrison, Martin Bidlingmaier, Simone Stadler, Zida Wu, Lars Skriver, and Christian J Strasburger

Objective: The usefulness of measuring the GH-dependent acid-labile subunit (ALS) in the management of GH deficiency (GHD) and acromegaly remains in question and is investigated in this study, comparing several different immunoassays for ALS.

Method: We compared the diagnostic accuracy of a commercially available polyclonal Ab-based ELISA with SDS pre-treatment (SDS-ELISA) with a monoclonal Ab-based immunofluorometric assay, using two unfolding methods (urea (UREA) and Glycine-HCl (Gly)). The corresponding molecular weight (MW) of ALS and IGFBP-3 immunoreactivity was determined. The clinical usefulness of each assay was examined in adult GH disorders.

Results: ALS was lower in GHD and higher in acromegaly using all assays. In GHD, UREA had higher sensitivity and specificity than SDS-ELISA (59 and 69% versus 41 and 51% respectively). In acromegaly, sensitivity and specificity was 94 and 87% for UREA, 81 and 36% for Gly, and 44 and 44% for SDS-ELISA. After UREA, immunoreactivity for ALS and IGFBP-3 eluted at their predicted free MW using size-exclusion chromatography, whereas ALS immunoreactivity in SDS (300–600 kDa) and Gly (250–500 kDa) was at a high apparent MW consistent with aggregation.

Conclusion: The diagnostic accuracy of ALS varies with assay choice and pre-treatment modality. UREA, which results in migration of ALS at the expected MW on a sizing column, has the highest specificity and sensitivity. Thus, if measured in an assay in which ALS is unfolded without aggregation, ALS is a clinically highly useful parameter for the assessment of GH.

Free access

Alexandra Keller, Zida Wu, Juergen Kratzsch, Eberhard Keller, Werner F Blum, Astrid Kniess, Rainer Preiss, Jens Teichert, Christian J Strasburger, and Martin Bidlingmaier

Objective: Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data after recombinant human GH (rhGH) administration in adults are scarce, but necessary to optimize replacement therapy and to detect doping. We examined pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and 20 kDa GH after injection of rhGH at different doses and routes of administration.

Design: Open-label crossover study with single boluses of rhGH.

Methods: Healthy trained subjects (10 males, 10 females) received bolus injections of rhGH on three occasions: 0.033 mg/kg s.c., 0.083 mg/kg s.c., and 0.033 mg/kg i.m. Concentrations of 22 and 20 kDa GH, IGF-I, and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP)-3 were measured repeatedly before and up to 36 h after injection.

Results: Serum GH maximal concentration (C max) and area under the time-concentration curve (AUC) were higher after i.m. than s.c. administration of 0.033 mg/kg (C max 35.5 and 12.0 μ g/l; AUC 196.2 and 123.8). C max and AUC were higher in males than in females (P < 0.01) and pharmacodynamic changes were more pronounced. IGFBP-3 concentrations showed no dose dependency. In response to rhGH administration, 20 kDa GH decreased in females and remained suppressed for 14–18 h (low dose) and 30 h (high dose). In males, 20 kDa GH was undetectable at baseline and throughout the study.

Conclusions: After rhGH administration, pharmacokinetic parameters are mainly influenced by route of administration, whereas pharmacodynamic variables and 20 kDa GH concentrations are determined mainly by gender. These differences need to be considered for therapeutic use and for detection of rhGH doping.

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Miriam A Bredella, Eleanor Lin, Danielle J Brick, Anu V Gerweck, Lindsey M Harrington, Martin Torriani, Bijoy J Thomas, David A Schoenfeld, Anne Breggia, Clifford J Rosen, Linda C Hemphill, Zida Wu, Nader Rifai, Andrea L Utz, and Karen K Miller


Abdominal adiposity is associated with increased cardiovascular risk and decreased GH secretion. The objective of our study was to determine the effects of GH on body composition and cardiovascular risk markers in abdominally obese women.

Materials and methods

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 79 obese premenopausal women received GH vs placebo for 6 months. Primary endpoints were i) total abdominal (total abdominal adipose tissue, TAT) fat by computed tomography (CT) (body composition) and ii) high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) (cardiovascular risk marker). Body composition was assessed by CT, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and proton MR spectroscopy. Serum cardiovascular risk markers, carotid intima-media thickness, and endothelial function were measured.


Mean 6-month GH dose was 1.7±0.1 mg/day, resulting in a mean IGF1 SDS increase from −1.7±0.08 to −0.1±0.3 in the GH group. GH administration decreased TAT and hsCRP compared with placebo. In addition, it increased thigh muscle mass and lean body mass and decreased subcutaneous abdominal and trunk fat, tissue plasminogen activator, apoB, and apoB/low-density lipoprotein compared with placebo. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) decreased and intramyocellular lipid increased within the GH group. Six-month change in IGF1 levels was negatively associated with 6-month decrease in TAT and VAT. One subject had a 2 h glucose >200 mg/ml at 3 months; four subjects, three of whom were randomized to GH, had 2 h glucose levels >200 mg/ml at the end of the study.


GH administration in abdominally obese premenopausal women exerts beneficial effects on body composition and cardiovascular risk markers but is associated with a decrease in glucose tolerance in a minority of women.