Alcohol-Induced Changes in the GH-IGF Axis

Charles H. Lang, Robert A. Frost

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter describes the effect of alcohol in the Growth Hormone-Insulin-Like Growth Factor (GH-IGF) Axis. Acute alcohol intoxication and chronic alcohol consumption leads to the profound endocrine dysfunction and the most pronounced alcohol-induced effects is the alteration in the GH-IGF axis. Abundant experimental evidence indicates that the pulsatile secretion of GH is suppressed in response to both acute and chronic alcohol abuse. Alcohol also dramatically influences various elements of the IGF system. In this regard, chronic alcohol consumption is uniformly demonstrated to decrease the circulating concentration of IGF-I independent of a difference in nutritional status. While this alcohol-induced decrease in blood-borne IGF-I results primarily from a reduction in hepatic IGF-I synthesis and secretion, IGF-I mRNA and protein content are also reduced in a number of extrahepatic tissues (e.g. skeletal muscle). Moreover, the alcohol-induced decrease in the muscle IGF-I is positively correlated to a reduction in the protein synthetic rate of this tissue. The large majority of lGF-I in the circulation is bound to one of the six high-affinity binding proteins (IGFBPs). Of these carriers, alcohol produces its greatest effect on IGFBP-1, as evidenced by the several-fold increase in IGFBP-1 concentration in blood, liver, and kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComprehensive Handbook of Alcohol Related Pathology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780080502311
ISBN (Print)9780125643702
StatePublished - Dec 30 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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