Resolving the growth-promoting and metabolic effects of growth hormone: Differential regulation of GH-IGF-I system components

Lindsey A. Norbeck, Jeffrey D. Kittilson, Mark A. Sheridan

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84 Scopus citations


Growth hormone regulates numerous processes in vertebrates including growth promotion and lipid mobilization. During periods of food deprivation, growth is arrested yet lipid depletion is promoted. In this study, we used rainbow trout on different nutritional regimens to examine the regulation of growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) system elements in order to resolve the growth-promoting and lipid catabolic actions of GH. Fish fasted for 2 or 6 weeks displayed significantly reduced growth compared to their fed counterparts despite elevated plasma GH, while refeeding for 2 weeks following 4 weeks of fasting partially restored growth and lowered plasma GH. Fish fasted for 6 weeks also exhausted their mesenteric adipose tissue reserves. Sensitivity to GH in the liver was reduced in fasting fish as evidenced by reduced expression of GH receptor type 1 (GHR 1) and GHR 2 mRNAs and by reduced 125I-GH binding capacity. Expression of GHR 1 and GHR 2 mRNAs also was reduced in the gill of fasted fish. In adipose tissue, however, sensitivity to GH, as indicated by GHR 1 expression and by 125I-GH binding capacity, increased after 6 weeks of fasting in concert with the observed lipid depletion. Fasting-associated growth retardation was accompanied by reduced expression of total IGF-I mRNA in the liver, adipose and gill, and by reduced plasma levels of IGF-I. Sensitivity to IGF-I was reduced in the gill of fasted fish as indicated by reduced expression of type 1 IGF-I receptor (IGFR 1A and IGFR 1B) mRNAs. By contrast, fasting did not affect expression of IGFR 1 mRNAs or 125I-IGF-I binding in skeletal muscle and increased expression of IGFR 1 mRNAs and 125I-IGF-I binding in cardiac muscle. These results indicate that nutritional state differentially regulates GH-IGF-I system components in a tissue-specific manner and that such alterations disable the growth-promoting actions of GH and promote the lipid-mobilizing actions of the hormone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-341
Number of pages10
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2007


  • Growth hormone receptor
  • Insulin-like growth factor-I receptor
  • Rainbow trout


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