The transition between puberty and adulthood is accompanied by a slowing in linear growth. Although GH is a key factor that drives somatic development into adulthood, early adulthood coincides with a reduction in circulating levels of GH. To this extent, a pathological decline in postpubertal GH secretion is detrimental to attainment of peak lean muscle mass and bone mass and promotes adiposity and increases susceptibility to the development of obesity in adulthood. Here we characterized pulsatile GH secretion in C57BL/6J mice at 12 and 16 wk of age. Deconvolution analysis of these measures reveals a reduction in pulsatile GH secretion between 12 and 16 wk of age. Dietary intervention with high-fat feeding at 8wk of age results in a significant increase in adiposity, the development of glucose intolerance, and hyperinsulinemia. We show the exacerbation of the age-associated decline in pulsatile GH secretion in high-fat-fed mice after 4 wk of dietary intervention (at 12 wk of age), and a further suppression of pulsatile GH secretion by 8 wk of dietary intervention (at 16wkof age). Suppressed pulsatile secretion of GH did not coincide with an elevation in circulating free fatty acids. Rather, we observed increased hepatic triglyceride content and an eventual decrease in circulating levels of IGF-I. Given the established role of GH in maintaining healthy aging, we anticipate that an advancing of the age-associated decline in pulsatile GH secretion as a consequence of dietary-induced weight gain may have long-term ramifications on adult health.
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