Acute effects of growth hormone in alcohol-fed rats

Charles H. Lang, Xiaoli Liu, Gerald Nystrom, Duanqing Wu, Robert N. Cooney, Robert A. Frost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The present study examined whether administration in vivo of a maximally stimulating dose of growth hormone (GH) was capable of modulating selected aspects of the GH-insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system to the same extent in alcohol-fed and control animals. Rats were maintained on an alcohol-containing diet for 14 weeks, while control animals were fed isocalorically. After surgical implantation of a catheter in the carotid artery, rats were starved overnight. The next morning, rats were injected with recombinant human GH (500 μg/kg, s.c.) or an equal volume of saline at time 0 and 12 h. Blood samples were collected prior to GH and at 6, 12 and 24 h thereafter; tissues were collected at the end of the study. Time-matched control and alcohol-fed rats not receiving GH were also included. Although the plasma concentrations of both total and free IGF-I were decreased 30-40% in alcohol-fed rats, the ability of GH to elevate circulating IGF-I was not diminished. GH was equally effective at increasing IGF-I peptide levels in both liver and skeletal muscle. GH also produced comparable increases in IGF-I mRNA in muscle in both groups. Hepatic GH receptor (GHR) peptide levels were not significantly altered by either alcohol or GH. Alcohol feeding decreased plasma levels of IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-3 and increased IGFBP-1, and GH did not significantly alter this profile. Hepatic expression of suppressor of cytokine signalling (SOCS-3) mRNA was not different between the groups. However, SOCS-3 mRNA was increased by ~ 50% in control animals in response to GH, but remained unchanged in alcohol-fed rats. These data indicate that the decrease in hepatic IGF-I synthesis and plasma IGF-I observed in alcohol-fed rats was independent of a change in GHR levels. In contrast, the ability of a maximally stimulating dose of GH to modulate selected biological responses in vivo was not impaired by chronic alcohol consumption and was associated with a lack of a GH-induced increase in SOCS-3 mRNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-158
Number of pages11
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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