Objective: Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in adults is associated with increased oxidative stress determined by the underlying GH-IGF-1 axis alterations. Despite GHD being a common diagnosis in children with short stature, no data on the oxidant/antioxidant status are available in this age group. This study was designed to detect differences in oxidative stress parameters between prepubertal GH-deficient children and healthy controls. Furthermore, the effect of 12 months of conventional GH replacement (rGH) on oxidant-antioxidant status was evaluated in the GHD group only.
Patients: Ten (nine males and one female) prepubertal children (mean age 9.1 +/- 1.3 years) with GHD were recruited and matched for sex and age (9.2 +/- 1.9 years) with 20 healthy controls (18 males and two females).
Measurements: At study entry, lag phase, an index of susceptibility of low density lipoprotein (LDL) to in vitro oxidation, malondialdehyde (MDA) and vitamin E were measured in all subjects. These parameters were also evaluated in GH-deficient children after 12 months of rGH treatment.
Results: The lag phase was significantly decreased in GH-deficient children compared to healthy controls (15.50 +/- 7.4 vs. 43.00 +/- 9.2 min; P = 0.0007), while MDA was significantly increased (1.33 +/- 0.38 vs. 0.46 +/- 0.10 nmol/mg; P = 0.0006). Vitamin E levels were significantly decreased (22.44 +/- 9.57 vs. 35.38 +/- 16.49 micromol/l; P = 0.001). IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 correlated directly to lag phase (r = 0.48; P = 0.01; r = 0.63, P = 0.002, respectively) and to vitamin E (r = 0.59, P = 0.003; r = 0.58, P = 0.006, respectively). By contrast, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 correlated indirectly to MDA (r = -0.47, P = 0.01; r =-0.65, P = 0.002, respectively). After 1 year of rGH therapy, lag phase (39.32 +/- 15.24 min; P = 0.005) and vitamin E (34.9 +/- 7.7 micromol/l; P = 0.005) increased significantly, while MDA decreased significantly (0.71 +/- 0.42 nmol/mg; P = 0.005), reaching normal levels.
Conclusions: These data show that children with GHD have substantially increased oxidative stress parameters compared to healthy controls and demonstrate a normalization of these parameters after 1 year of rGH therapy.