Effect of low-dose human growth hormone on carbohydrate metabolism in children with hypopituitarism

  • Gertrude Costin
    Correspondence
    Reprint address: Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90027.
    Affiliations
    Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif. USA

    The Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif. USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif. USA
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  • Maurice D. Kogut
    Affiliations
    Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif. USA

    The Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif. USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif. USA
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  • S. Douglas Frasier
    Affiliations
    Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif. USA

    The Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif. USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif. USA
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      Carbohydrate metabolism was studied in nine growth hormone-deficient children before and one year after treatment with human growth hormone (HGH). Before treatment the mean plasma immunoreactive insulin concentrations following administration of glucose and tolbutamide were significantly reduced. After one year of HGH therapy the mean plasma immunoreactive insulin levels in response to glucose and tolbutamide were greater than before treatment. The pattern of response of plasma free fatty acids, which was abnormal before treatment, returned to normal with therapy. The improvement in insulin responsiveness following HGH suggests that in the absence of growth hormone pancreatic beta cells have a decreased capacity to release insulin which improves following therapy. The effect of HGH on growth may be due, in part, to its insulinogenic activity.
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