Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the anabolic effects of recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-I (rhIGF-1) complexed with its principal binding protein IGF-1 binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) in severely burned adults.
Methods: Ten burned adults were studied consecutively after receiving saline (pretreatment), then rhIGF-1/IGFBP-3 (treatment) for 5 days. Doses were 1, 2, and 4 mg/kg per day. Glucose, electrolytes, hormones, and leg muscle protein metabolism were determined. Nine other studies were performed on similarly injured adults at comparable times to the treatment studies to control for time effects.
Results: Serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels increased with all doses, but no incremental increases were found. Leg protein balance improved with rhIGF-1/IGFBP-3, which was associated with an increase in muscle protein fractional synthetic rate. These effects were independent of time. All patients were euglycemic without electrolyte imbalances.
Conclusion: Net protein synthesis in the isolated leg of severely burned adults improved with rhIGF-1/IGFBP-3 without development of glucose abnormalities.