Context: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) agonists such as thiazolidinediones (TZDs) improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) through effects on fat metabolism whereas GH stimulates lipolysis and induces insulin resistance. Objective: To evaluate the impact of TZDs on fat metabolism and insulin sensitivity in subjects exposed to stable GH levels. Design: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind parallel-group study including 20 GH-deficient patients on continued GH replacement therapy. The patients were studied before and after 12 weeks. Intervention: Patients received either pioglitazone 30 mg (N = 10) or placebo (N = 10) once daily for 12 weeks. Results: Adiponectin levels almost doubled during pioglitazone treatment (P = 0.0001). Pioglitazone significantly decreased basal free fatty acid (FFA) levels (P = 0.02) and lipid oxidation (P = 0.02). Basal glucose oxidation rate (P = 0.004) and insulin sensitivity (P = 0.03) improved in the patients who received pioglitazone treatment. The change in insulin-stimulated adiponectin level after pioglitazone treatment was positively correlated to the change in insulin-stimulated total glucose disposal (R = 0.69, P = 0.04). Conclusion: The impact of GH on lipolysis and insulin sensitivity can be modified by administration of TZDs.
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