Insulin inhibits growth hormone signaling via the growth hormone receptor/JAK2/STAT5B pathway

J Biol Chem. 1999 May 7;274(19):13434-42. doi: 10.1074/jbc.274.19.13434.


Insulin is important for maintaining the responsiveness of the liver to growth hormone (GH). Insulin deficiency results in a decrease in liver GH receptor (GHR) expression, which can be reversed by insulin administration. In osteoblasts, continuous insulin treatment decreases the fraction of cellular GHR localized to the plasma membrane. Thus, it is not clear whether hyperinsulinemia results in an enhancement or inhibition of GH action. We asked whether continuous insulin stimulation, similar to what occurs in hyperinsulinemic states, results in GH resistance. Our present studies suggest that insulin treatment of hepatoma cells results in a time-dependent inhibition of acute GH-induced phosphorylation of STAT5B. Whereas total protein levels of JAK2 were not reduced after insulin pretreatment for 16 h, GH-induced JAK2 phosphorylation was inhibited. There was a concomitant decrease in GH binding and a reduction in immunoreactive GHR levels following pretreatment with insulin for 8-24 h. In summary, continuous insulin treatment in rat H4 hepatoma cells reduces GH binding, immunoreactive GHR, GH-induced phosphorylation of JAK2, and GH-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT5B. These findings suggest that hepatic GH resistance may develop when a patient exhibits chronic hyperinsulinemia, a condition often observed in patients with obesity and in the early stage of Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Growth Hormone / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism
  • Hyperinsulinism / complications
  • Hyperinsulinism / metabolism
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Milk Proteins*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins*
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / metabolism*
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Milk Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Somatotropin
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • Stat5b protein, rat
  • Trans-Activators
  • Growth Hormone
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Jak2 protein, rat
  • Janus Kinase 2