The anabolic actions of GH are well known, although specific tissue responses and the mechanism of nitrogen conservation are less well understood. This study was designed to examine the acute metabolic effects of GH on whole body and regional protein metabolism, using an experimental protocol which controlled for confounding perturbations in other hormones by a simultaneous infusion of somatostatin. Control subjects received replacement doses of insulin, glucagon, and GH for the entire 7-h study period, whereas GH subjects received an identical protocol, except for an increased dose of GH sufficient to increase serum concentrations into the high-physiological range (12-20 ng/mL) for the final 3.5 h of the study (P < 0.001). Thirteen young, healthy male subjects were studied in the postabsorptive period; five served as control subjects and eight as treatment (GH) subjects. Each received continuous iv infusions of somatostatin, L-[13-C]leucine, and L-[2H5]phenylalanine throughout the study. Femoral arterial and venous sampling allowed for simultaneous measurements across the leg and in the whole body. C-Peptide levels were suppressed throughout the infusion; insulin, glucagon, insulin-like growth factor I, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and glucose concentrations were not different between groups. Glycerol concentrations increased 3-fold in GH subjects during the final 3.5-h period (P = 0.04). Concentrations of several amino acids declined through the study, but no differences were observed between treatment groups. Leucine oxidation was reduced in GH compared to control subjects (P = 0.04). No changes in CO2 production or whole body leucine or phenylalanine flux were observed, whereas nonoxidative disposal of leucine was marginally higher in GH compared to control subjects (P = 0.07). By contrast, rates of appearance and disappearance of both leucine and phenylalanine across the leg all were relatively lower in GH compared to control subjects; leucine balance across the leg was reduced by GH (P = 0.03), whereas phenylalanine balance was not influenced by GH. Our data thus demonstrate an acute stimulatory effect of GH on lipolysis, a decrease in leucine oxidation, and no stimulation of muscle protein synthesis in spite of enhanced protein synthesis in nonmuscle tissue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical