Effect of GH on human skeletal muscle lipid metabolism in GH deficiency

Trepp, Roman; Flück, Martin; Stettler, Christoph; Boesch, Chris; Ith, Michael; Kreis, Roland; Hoppeler, Hans; Howald, Hans; Schmid, Jean-Paul; Diem, Peter; Christ, Emanuel R (2008). Effect of GH on human skeletal muscle lipid metabolism in GH deficiency. American journal of physiology - endocrinology and metabolism, 294(6), E1127-34. Bethesda, Md.: American Physiological Society 10.1152/ajpendo.00010.2008

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Adult-onset growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) is associated with insulin resistance and decreased exercise capacity. Intramyocellular lipids (IMCL) depend on training status, diet, and insulin sensitivity. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we studied IMCL content following physical activity (IMCL-depleted) and high-fat diet (IMCL-repleted) in 15 patients with GHD before and after 4 mo of GH replacement therapy (GHRT) and in 11 healthy control subjects. Measurements of insulin resistance and exercise capacity were performed and skeletal muscle biopsies were carried out to assess expression of mRNA of key enzymes involved in skeletal muscle lipid metabolism by real-time PCR and ultrastructure by electron microscopy. Compared with control subjects, patients with GHD showed significantly higher difference between IMCL-depleted and IMCL-repleted. GHRT resulted in an increase in skeletal muscle mRNA expression of IGF-I, hormone-sensitive lipase, and a tendency for an increase in fatty acid binding protein-3. Electron microscopy examination did not reveal significant differences after GHRT. In conclusion, variation of IMCL may be increased in patients with GHD compared with healthy control subjects. Qualitative changes within the skeletal muscle (i.e., an increase in free fatty acids availability from systemic and/or local sources) may contribute to the increase in insulin resistance and possibly to the improvement of exercise capacity after GHRT. The upregulation of IGF-I mRNA suggests a paracrine/autocrine role of IGF-I on skeletal muscle.

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Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy > Functional Anatomy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology > DCR Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Methodology (AMSM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology

UniBE Contributor:

Trepp, Roman, Flück, Martin, Stettler, Christoph, Boesch, Christoph Hans, Kreis, Roland, Hoppeler, Hans-Heinrich, Schmid-Walker, Jean-Paul, Diem, Peter, Christ, Emanuel






American Physiological Society




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04 Oct 2013 15:02

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:22

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https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/26999 (FactScience: 99448)

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