Regulation of insulin-like growth factor-I in starvation and injury

Nutr Rev. 1999 Jun;57(6):167-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.1999.tb06939.x.


Both starvation and sepsis are characterized by growth hormone (GH) insensitivity, which leads to a reduction in circulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I. Because of the anabolic properties of this growth factor, its decline may contribute to the growth arrest and the catabolic reaction observed in starvation and sepsis. This review focuses on the mechanisms responsible for the reduction in circulating IGF-I and impairment of GH responsiveness that occur during starvation and sepsis. A clearer understanding of the complex nature of GH resistance should lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring the beneficial effects of anabolic agents such as GH and IGF-I.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Energy Intake
  • Glucocorticoids / physiology
  • Human Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Human Growth Hormone / physiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Sepsis / metabolism*
  • Starvation / metabolism*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Insulin
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I