Effects of Recombinant Human Growth Hormone in Anorexia Nervosa: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 6.21). 11/2010; 95(11):4889-97. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2010-0493
Source: PubMed


Anorexia nervosa (AN), a state of chronic nutritional deprivation, is characterized by GH resistance with elevated GH levels and decreased levels of IGF-I. The effects of supraphysiological recombinant human GH (rhGH) on GH resistance in AN are not currently known.
The aim was to investigate whether supraphysiological rhGH increases IGF-I levels in AN.
We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled study in a Clinical Research Center.
We studied 21 women with AN, 10 (mean age, 28 ± 2.1 yr) treated with rhGH and 11 (mean age, 29.2 ± 2.6 yr) treated with placebo.
rhGH (mean maximum daily dose, 1.4 ± 0.12 mg/d) or placebo was administered to patients for 12 wk.
IGF-I, N-terminal propeptide of type 1 procollagen, type I collagen C-telopeptide, glucose, and insulin levels were measured at wk 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 12; C-terminal propeptide of type 1 procollagen, leptin, and free fatty acid levels were measured at wk 0 and 12. Body composition, including total fat and lean mass, was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at wk 0 and 12.
IGF-I levels did not differ between the groups at baseline or after treatment (median after 12 wk-rhGH, 124 ng/ml, interquartile range, 94.5, 170.3; vs. placebo, 85.5 ng/ml, interquartile range, 62, 139; P = 0.3). Similarly, changes in glucose, insulin, free fatty acids, and bone markers did not differ between the groups. Total fat mass and percentage fat mass (rhGH, -2.5 ± 0.6%, vs. placebo, 2.2 ± 1.1%; P = 0.004) decreased significantly in the rhGH group compared to placebo despite comparable weight.
Supraphysiological rhGH administration decreases fat mass in AN without increasing IGF-I levels, supporting the role of GH as a mediator of lipolysis independent of IGF-I.

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    • "Therefore, the administration of recombinant human GH was not associated with a significant change in plasma levels of blood glucose, insulin, or FFA in AN. Importantly, these findings suggest that patients with AN would have a relatively high resistance to the effects of GH [99]. In AN, a greater mobilization of FFA leads to an increase in the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptoralpha (PPAR-í µí»¼) which increases levels of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF 21) [100]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Eating disorders such as anorexia (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are characterized by abnormal eating behavior. The essential aspect of AN is that the individual refuses to maintain a minimal normal body weight. The main features of BN are binge eating and inappropriate compensatory methods to prevent weight gain. The gut-brain-adipose tissue (AT) peptides and neutralizing autoantibodies play an important role in the regulation of eating behavior and growth hormone release. The mechanisms for controlling food intake involve an interplay between gut, brain, and AT. Parasympathetic, sympathetic, and serotoninergic systems are required for communication between brain satiety centre, gut, and AT. These neuronal circuits include neuropeptides ghrelin, neuropeptide Y (NPY), peptide YY (PYY), cholecystokinin (CCK), leptin, putative anorexigen obestatin, monoamines dopamine, norepinephrine (NE), serotonin, and neutralizing autoantibodies. This extensive and detailed report reviews data that demonstrate that hunger-satiety signals play an important role in the pathogenesis of eating disorders. Neuroendocrine dysregulations of the AT-gut-brain axis peptides and neutralizing autoantibodies may result in AN and BN. The circulating autoantibodies can be purified and used as pharmacological tools in AN and BN. Further research is required to investigate the orexigenic/anorexigenic synthetic analogs and monoclonal antibodies for potential treatment of eating disorders in clinical practice.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2013 · International Journal of Endocrinology
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    • "Furthermore, leptin is involved in the control of glucose-lipid homeostasis, energy storage and multiple neuroendocrine functions, which are impaired in BN and AN patients, including the pathological adaptation of the organism to starvation [18,19]. It is possible that the malnutrition-dependent reduction of leptin levels may play a role in the hypersomatotropism of AN [20,21]. This GH secretory pattern, which may reflect an adaptive phenomenon, is favoring the preferential utilization of free fatty acids (FFA). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is an important central orexigenic hormone predominantly produced by the hypothalamus, and recently found to be secreted in adipose tissue (AT). Acipimox (Aci) inhibits lipolysis in AT and reduces plasma glycerol and free fatty acid (FFA) levels. Exercise and Aci are enhancers of growth hormone (GH) and NPY secretion and exercise may alter leptin levels. We expect to find abnormal neuropeptidergic response in plasma and AT in patients with bulimia nervosa (BN). We hypothesize that Aci influences these peptides via a FFA-independent mechanism and that Aci inhibits lipolysis through a cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent pathway. Dysregulations of the AT-brain axis peptides might be involved in binge eating as is the case in BN. The objective of this study was to determine the responses of plasma NPY, GH, leptin, FFA and glycerol levels to exercise in BN patients and healthy women (C) given the anti-lipolytic drug Aci or placebo. The secondary objective of this study was to compare the responses of extracellular glycerol levels and plasma glycerol levels to exercise alone or together with Aci administration in BN patients and C women. Extracellular glycerol was measured in vivo in subcutaneous (sc) abdominal AT using microdialysis. Eight BN and eight C women were recruited for this single-blind, randomized study. Aci or placebo was given 1 hour before the exercise (45 min, 2 W/kg of lean body mass [LBM]). NPY, GH, leptin, FFA, glycerol plasma and AT glycerol levels were measured using commercial kits. The primary outcome of this study was that the exercise with Aci administration resulted in plasma NPY and GH increase (after a 45-minute exercise) and leptin (after a 90-minute post-exercise recovering phase) increased more in BN patients. The secondary outcomes of this study were that the exercise with Aci administration induced a higher decrease of extracellular glycerol in BN patients compared to the C group, while the exercise induced a higher increase of glycerol concentrations in sc abdominal AT of BN patients. Plasma glycerol levels decreased more in BN patients and plasma FFA levels were depressed in both groups after the exercise with Aci administration. The exercise induced similar increases in plasma NPY, GH, FFA and glycerol levels, and a similar decrease in the plasma leptin level in both groups. We confirm the results of a single-blind, randomized, microdialysis study, i.e. that the Aci-induced elevation in plasma NPY and GH levels during the exercise is higher in BN patients and that Aci increased plasma leptin levels in the post-exercise recovering phase (90-minute) more in BN patients. The post-exercise rise (45-minute) in AT glycerol is much more attenuated by acute Aci treatment in BN patients. Simultaneously, we found facilitated turnover of plasma glycerol after the exercise together with Aci administration in BN. Our results support the hypotheses that Aci exerts an effect on the FFA-independent and cAMP-dependent mechanism. Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12611000955910.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Nutrition & Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN) are at risk for low bone mass at multiple sites, associated with decreased bone turnover. Bone microarchitecture is also affected, with a decrease in bone trabecular volume and trabecular thickness, and an increase in trabecular separation. The adolescent years are typically the time when marked increases occur in bone mass accrual towards the attainment of peak bone mass, an important determinant of bone health and fracture risk in later life. AN often begins in the adolescent years, and decreased rates of bone mass accrual at this critical time are therefore also concerning for deficits in peak bone mass. Factors contributing to low bone density and decreased rates of bone accrual include alterations in body composition such as low body mass index and lean body mass, and hormonal alterations such as hypogonadism, a nutritionally acquired resistance to GH and low levels of IGF-I, relative hypercortisolemia, low levels of leptin, and increased adiponectin (for fat mass) and peptide YY. Therapeutic strategies include optimizing weight and menstrual recovery, and adequate calcium and vitamin D replacement. Oral estrogen-progesterone combination pills are not effective in increasing bone density in adolescents with AN. Recombinant human IGF-I increases levels of bone formation markers in the short term, while long-term effects remain to be determined. Bisphosphonates act by decreasing bone resorption, and are not optimal for use in adolescents with AN, in whom the primary defect is low bone formation.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Journal of endocrinological investigation
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