Short-Term Effects of Growth Hormone on Lipolysis, Glucose and Amino Acid Metabolism Assessed in Serum and Microdialysate of Healthy Young Men

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2020 Dec;128(12):819-826. doi: 10.1055/a-1027-6620. Epub 2019 Nov 7.


Objective: We investigated direct effects of a therapeutic growth hormone dose on lipolysis, glucose and amino acid metabolism.

Methods: This crossover microdialysis trial involved six healthy male volunteers receiving single subcutaneous injections of both growth hormone (0.035 mg/kg) and placebo (0.9% sodium chloride). The investigation comprised three test days with standard diet. The first day served for adaptation, the second and third one for determining study data during 9 night hours with or without growth hormone. Abdominal subcutaneous microdialysate and blood were continuously collected and forwarded to a separate room next door where hourly taken samples were centrifuged and frozen until analysed.

Results: Growth hormone achieved the peak serum level after 3 h followed by a plateau-like course for the next 6 h. Glycerol in microdialysate started to rise 2 h following growth hormone injection achieving significance compared to placebo after 9 h (P<0.05). Serum glycerol increased 4 h after growth hormone administration achieving significance after 6 h (P<0.05). Glucose and amino acid concentrations showed neither in microdialysate nor in serum significant differences between growth hormone and placebo. Serum values of insulin and C-peptide revealed no significant difference between growth hormone and placebo.

Summary and conclusion: As the result of a high single subcutaneous dose of GH, persistent lipolysis can be shown in continuously collected microdialysate and blood, but no indication for gluconeogenesis or protein anabolism.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acids / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glycerol / blood*
  • Growth Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Growth Hormone / pharmacokinetics
  • Growth Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Microdialysis
  • Young Adult


  • Amino Acids
  • Blood Glucose
  • Growth Hormone
  • Glucose
  • Glycerol