Celina Franco Ramos
|Published in||Growth hormone & IGF research : official journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society|
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Section for Oncology, Radiation Physics, Radiology and Urology
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
|Keywords||Growth hormone, Abdominal obesity, Gender difference, Metabolic syndrome, Regional adipose tissue distribution, Insulin sensitivity, Adipokines, Oestrogen, Androgens|
|Subject categories||Medical and Health Sciences|
CONTEXT: Women with severe growth hormone (GH) deficiency have a less marked response to GH replacement than men. This has mostly been attributed to the attenuating effects of oestrogen replacement therapy. OBJECTIVE: To study gender related differences in the response to GH treatment in men and postmenopausal women. METHODS: Fifteen men and 15 age- and BMI-matched women with abdominal obesity (mean age: 58; range 51-64 years) were treated for one year with similar doses (0.47 vs. 0.51mg/day) of GH. All women were postmenopausal not receiving oestrogen treatment. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp and body composition by computed tomography (CT) scans and from total body potassium, K(40). RESULTS: Men and women were comparable at baseline in terms of waist circumference, IGF-1 and lipid levels. After one year of GH treatment, there was a 18% reduction in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in men and a 5% reduction in women (P=0.0001 men vs. women). Although the magnitude of the difference was small, men increased more in thigh muscle mass (P<0.0001 vs. women). A reduction in thigh intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) and diastolic blood pressure was seen only in men (both p<0.05 vs. baseline). A decrease in LDL cholesterol, and an increase in serum insulin, was observed only in women (both p<0.05 vs. baseline). CONCLUSION: Low dose GH treatment reduced VAT more markedly in men as compared with women. As all women were postmenopausal and oestrogen-deficient, this gender difference in responsiveness was not due to an antagonistic effect of oestrogen on peripheral GH action.