In the present study, the changes in circulating IGF-1 and its binding protein IGFBP-3 were determined in adult patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in order to assess the effect of this inflammatory condition on the IGF system. IGF-1 and IGFBP-3, as well as interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured in serum obtained from 22 consecutive newly diagnosed patients (mean age 41.3 years) with active IBD, including 10 patients with Crohn's disease (CD), and 12 with ulcerative colitis (UC). For comparison the same parameters were determined in 30 healthy volunteers matched for age, sex and Body Mass Index (BMI). Serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels were similar in the two subgroups of patients and the values from all patients were combined for comparison with those from the control group. The mean (+/- SD) serum IGF-1 concentration (178 +/- 91 ng/ml) in the patients with IBD was lower compared with that in the controls (227 +/- 79 ng/ml, P<0.035). Similarly, the mean IGFBP-3 concentration in the patients was lower than in the controls (1.6 +/- 0.6 ng/ml vs 3.2 +/- 0.7 ng/ml respectively, P<0.001), Serum IL-6 levels were higher in the patients compared with the controls (5.5 +/- 4.2 vs 0.65 +/- 0.11 pg/ml, P<0.0001). The reduced IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels in patients with active IBD suggest that this systemic inflammatory condition is associated with a degree of acquired GH resistance, possibly induced by inflammatory cytokines.
Copyright 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.