The inhibitory effects of interleukin-1 on growth hormone action during catabolic illness

Vitam Horm. 2006;74:317-40. doi: 10.1016/S0083-6729(06)74013-4.


Growth hormone (GH) induces the expression of the anabolic genes responsible for growth, metabolism, and differentiation. Normally, GH stimulates the synthesis of circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) by liver, which upregulates protein synthesis in many tissues. The development of GH resistance during catabolic illness or inflammation contributes to loss of body protein, resulting in multiple complications that prolong recovery and cause death. In septic patients, increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines and GH resistance are commonly observed together. Numerous studies have provided evidence that the inhibitory effects of cytokines on skeletal muscle protein synthesis during sepsis and inflammation are mediated indirectly by changes in the GH/IGF-I system. Interleukin (IL)-1, a member of the family of proinflammatory cytokines, interacts with most cell types and is an important mediator of the inflammatory response. Infusion of a specific IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) ameliorates protein catabolism and GH resistance during systemic infection. This suggests that IL-1 is an important mediator of GH resistance during systemic infection or inflammation. Consequently, a better understanding of the interaction between GH, IL-1, and the regulation of protein metabolism is of great importance for the care of the patient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1 / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Sepsis / immunology*
  • Sepsis / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone