Circulating aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) is independent of GH secretion

Endocr Connect. 2019 Apr;8(4):326-337. doi: 10.1530/EC-19-0082.


Background: Aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) is evolutionarily conserved and expressed widely throughout the organism. Loss-of-function AIP mutations predispose to young-onset pituitary adenomas. AIP co-localizes with growth hormone in normal and tumorous somatotroph secretory vesicles. AIP protein is detectable in circulation. We aimed to investigate possible AIP and GH co-secretion, by studying serum AIP and GH levels at baseline and after GH stimulation or suppression, in GH deficiency (GHD) and in acromegaly patients.

Subjects and methods: Insulin tolerance test (ITT) was performed in GHD patients (n = 13) and age-BMI-matched normal GH axis control patients (n = 31). Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed in active acromegaly patients (n = 26) and age-BMI-matched normal GH axis control patients (n = 18). In-house immunometric assay was developed for measuring circulating AIP.

Results: Serum AIP levels were in the 0.1 ng/mL range independently of gender, age or BMI. Baseline AIP did not differ between GHD and non-GHD or between acromegaly and patients with no acromegaly. There was no change in peak, trough or area under the curve during OGTT or ITT. Serum AIP did not correlate with GH during ITT or OGTT.

Conclusions: Human circulating serum AIP in vivo was assessed by a novel immunometric assay. AIP levels were independent of age, sex or BMI and unaffected by hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia. Despite co-localization in secretory vesicles, AIP and GH did not correlate at baseline or during GH stimulation or suppression tests. A platform of reliable serum AIP measurement is established for further research of its circulatory source, role and impact.

Keywords: AIP; FIPA; GH secretion; ITT; OGTT; acromegaly; hypopituitarism; pituitary adenoma.