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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The growth factor from plerocercoid larvae of the tapeworm, Spirometra mansonoides, stimulates growth but is not diabetogenic.

A factor produced by plerocercoids of the tapeworm Spirometra mansonoides is similar to human growth hormone ( hGH) in that it stimulates body growth, binds to hGH receptors, cross-reacts with anti- hGH antibodies, and has lactogenic and insulin-like activities. The purpose of this study was to determine whether plerocercoid growth factor (PGF) is similar to hGH in expressing diabetogenic activity in the genetically obese (ob/ob) mouse. To determine an effective dose for use in the obese mice, the ability of daily injections of PGF to stimulate growth of phenotypically normal mice of the same strain was assessed in a 10-day weight gain assay. Injections of PGF stimulated a dose-dependent weight gain (r = 0.83) and 25 ng eq/day of PGF stimulated a response not significantly different from that produced by 100 micrograms of bovine growth hormone/day. Diabetogenicity was assessed using fasting blood glucose and glucose tolerance tests in obese mice that had been injected for 3 days with saline, hGH, or PGF. Human growth hormone caused a significant increase (P less than 0.005) in fasting blood glucose and glucose tolerance of the obese mice was impaired (P less than 0.01). All of the doses of PGF used to test diabetogenicity in the obese mice were at least twice that required to stimulate a maximal growth response in normal mice, yet none of the doses of PGF increased fasting blood glucose or decreased glucose tolerance. These results show that PGF was a potent growth stimulant but was not diabetogenic.[1]


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