Effect of rhGH and rhIGF-I treatment on protein utilization in elderly women

Am J Physiol. 1997 Jan;272(1 Pt 1):E94-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1997.272.1.E94.


To assess the effect of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) and recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I (rhIGF-I) on protein utilization, 14 women, age 66-82 yr, were invited to participate in studies of nitrogen balance (n = 14), whole body protein turnover (n = 14), and muscle protein synthesis (n = 8). They were studied both 1 wk before and during the last week of a 1-mo regimen, to which they had been randomly assigned, of either 0.025 mg rhGH/kg once daily or rhIGF-I at 0.015 (low), 0.03 (mid), or 0.06 (high) mg/kg twice daily. Nitrogen balance increased significantly after 1 wk of treatment in all groups (P < 0.05). After 1 mo, the magnitude of this effect had diminished by 50% in the rhGH group but remained elevated throughout the treatment period with all doses of rhIGF-I. Both protein synthesis and breakdown, measured by a primed constant infusion of [15N]glycine, were significantly increased with rhGH (9% and 8%, respectively), low-dose rhIGF-I (4.5% and 4%), and high-dose rhIGF-I (18% and 17%). Net synthesis was significantly increased with rhGH (48%) and high- and mid-dose rhIGF-I (27% and 196%, respectively). Muscle protein synthesis as measured by incorporation of [1-13C]leucine increased significantly with rhGH (50%) and the mid (67%) and high (57%) doses of rhIGF-I. These data show that whole body and muscle protein synthesis are responsive to growth factor stimulation in elderly women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Human Growth Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology*
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins


  • Muscle Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Nitrogen