Growth hormone and insulin combine to improve whole-body and skeletal muscle protein kinetics

Surgery. 1992 Aug;112(2):284-91; discussion 291-2.


Background: A cooperative effect of exogenous insulin and recombinant human growth hormone (r-hGH) with respect to whole-body and skeletal muscle protein metabolism has not been demonstrated previously. This study examined the effect of r-hGH and insulin administration during euglycemic clamping and concurrent amino acid supplementation.

Methods: Twenty-three normal volunteers in the postabsorptive state were either treated with r-hGH for 3 consecutive days before a metabolic study (GH group; n = 10) or not treated (CTRL group; n = 13). The r-hGH dose was 0.2 mg/kg/day (n = 5) or 0.1 mg/kg/day (n = 5). All subjects then received an infusion of 14C-labeled leucine and tritiated phenylalanine, followed by measurement of baseline protein kinetics (GH and CTRL). Subsequently a euglycemic insulin infusion (1 mU/kg/min) with concurrent amino acid infusion was administered, and protein kinetic measurements were repeated at steady state.

Results: GH and insulin separately produced an increase in whole-body and skeletal muscle protein net balance. GH plus insulin was associated with a higher net balance of protein than was insulin alone.

Conclusions: r-hGH and insulin in the presence of amino acids and glucose combine to improve whole-body and skeletal muscle protein kinetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • Forearm / blood supply
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Growth Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects


  • Amino Acids
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Growth Hormone
  • Glucagon