Mycobacterium avium is a common opportunistic infection of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). We used the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) model to examine whether disseminated M. avium is associated with disruption of the somatotropic axis in AIDS. Macaques were followed prospectively, and body composition was determined by dual-energy x-ray absorption. Serum levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, IGF binding protein-3, growth hormone (GH), and somatostatin were measured. SIV-infected macaques inoculated with mycobacteria had significant changes in body composition, perturbations of the somatotropic axis (characterized by increased GH/IGF-1 ratios) (day 0 [2.21] vs. day of death [DOD] [28.06]; P=.015, Mann-Whitney rank sum test), and increased serum somatostatin levels (day 0 [2.00 ng/mL] vs. DOD [8.58 ng/mL]; P=.026, Mann-Whitney rank sum test). These data document alterations in the somatotropic axis secondary to experimental disseminated M. avium infection and suggest that similar changes may contribute to alterations in body composition during AIDS.