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

Comparative effects of GH, IGF-I and insulin on serum sex hormone binding globulin.

OBJECTIVE: The serum level of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) changes inversely with that of both insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), during several nutritional conditions, as well as in response to GH treatment. However, with exogenous IGF-I administration, endogenous IGF-I increases, while insulin decreases. In order to study the separate roles of these hormones in controlling SHBG metabolism, we compared SHBG levels in patients treated with IGF-I and GH. DESIGN AND PATIENTS: Serum levels of IGF-I, insulin and SHBG were measured before and during the treatment of patients with IGF-I or GH. Blood samples were drawn in the fasting state, prior to and during therapy, 24 hours after drug administration. Sixteen children and adults with Laron syndrome (LS) received daily s.c. injections of IGF-I (120-150 micrograms/kg) for up to 5 months. Three adults with isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) received daily s.c. injections of GH (0.03-0.06 U/kg) for 16 months. Two groups of nine prepubertal children with constitutional short stature (CSS) received GH (0.1 U/kg/day) for 3 months. MEASUREMENTS: Serum levels of insulin and acid extractable IGF-I were determined by RIA, and that of SHBG by IRMA. RESULTS: Basal insulin and SHBG levels were within normal range in the LS, IGHD and CSS patients. IGF-I levels were low in LS and IGHD patients, and normal in the CSS children. The mean peak response to chronic therapy was as follows: in LS patients, IGF-I administration decreased insulin levels to 62%, and increased SHBG levels by 64% above basal values. Chronic GH therapy in IGHD caused a marked rise in both IGF-I levels (473%), and insulin levels (96%), and a gradual decline of SHBG to 75% of the basal concentration. In GH treated CSS patients, serum IGF-I peaked at 80% and insulin levels at 102% above the respective basal levels, while SHBG decreased to 83% after 5 days of treatment. CONCLUSION: The results obtained in Laron syndrome, isolated GH deficiency and constitutional short stature patients treated with IGF-I or GH, indicate that serum insulin had consistently an inverse relation with the levels of circulating SHBG. No relation was found between IGF-I and SHBG levels.[1]


  1. Comparative effects of GH, IGF-I and insulin on serum sex hormone binding globulin. Gafny, M., Silbergeld, A., Klinger, B., Wasserman, M., Laron, Z. Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) (1994) [Pubmed]
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