Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 193–197 | Cite as

Effects of six-month administration of recombinant human growth hormone to healthy elderly subjects

  • C. M. Cuttica
  • L. Castoldi
  • G. P. Gorrini
  • F. Peluffo
  • G. Delitala
  • P. Filippa
  • G. Fanciulli
  • M. Giusti
Original Article

Abstract

In aging, both changes in body composition and a decrease in GH secretion are observed. While recombinant human GH (rhGH) therapy was shown to be effective in GH-deficient adults, its effects on normal aging are controversial. This study addressed the effects of six-month administration of low dosages of rhGH in a group of 5 healthy elderly subjects (age range 71–86 years). All subjects received 2 IU rhGH (Saizen, Serono) × 2/week s.c., which was approximately 0.03 mg/kg/week, and were examined before and 1, 3, and 6 months after the start of the therapy, as well as 3 months after therapy was suspended. Hormonal, metabolic and biochemical parameters, as well as bone density at the forearm level, body composition and muscle strength, assessed by isokinetic exercises, were evaluated at each scheduled visit. After the start of the therapy, there was an average 9±3 % increase (median 8%) in IGF-I levels (IGF-I basal: 145.6±9 ng/mL, IGF-I peak: 176.0±10; p<0.001). An increase in lean body weight, a decrease in fat (p<0.05), and an improvement in muscle strength (p<0.01) were recorded. No significant variation was observed in the metabolic parameters. During rhGH therapy, an increase in both bone resorption and formation parameters, and a slightly decreasing trend in bone density were noted. In conclusion, low dosages of rhGH in healthy elderly subjects seem to determine some physiological effects, such as a slight increase in IGF-I levels, which in turn may be responsible for the positive effects on body mass composition and muscle strength, without producing side effects. On the other hand, 6-month subcutaneous rhGH therapy at the dosage employed was unable to improve bone density.

Key words

Body composition elderly IGF-I muscle strength rhGH 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Rudman D., Feller A.G., Nagraj H.S., Gergans G.A., Lalitha P.Y., Goldberg A.F., Schlenker R.A., Cohn L., Rudman I.W., Mattson D.E.: Effects of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old. N. Engl. J. Med. 323: 1–6, 1990.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pugeat M., Fimbel S., Crave J.C., Dechaud H., Lejeune H.: Hormonal substitution in older men. Horm. Res. 43: 104–110, 1995.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Giusti M., Marini G., Sessarego P., Peluffo F., Valenti S., Caratti C., Giordano G.: Effect of cholinergic tone on GH-RH-induced secretion of GH in normal aging. Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 4: 231–237, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hoffman A.R., Lieberman S.A., Ceda G.P.: Growth hormone therapy in the elderly: implications for the aging brain. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17: 327–333, 1992.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Marcus R., Butterfield G., Holloway L., Gilliland L., Baylink D.J., Hintz R.L., Sherman B.M.: Effects of short-term administration of recombinant human growth hormone to elderly people. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 70: 519–527, 1990.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Holloway L., Butterfield G., Hintz R.L., Gesundheit N., Marcus R.: Effects of recombinant human growth hormone on metabolic indices, body composition, and bone turnover in healthy elderly women. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 79: 470–479, 1994.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Amato G., Carella C., Fazio S., La Montagna G., Cittadini A., Sabatini D., Marcano-Mone C., Sacca L., Bellastella A.: Body composition, bone metabolism and heart structure and function in growth hormone (GH)- deficient adults before and after GH-replacement therapy at low doses. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 77: 1671–1676, 1993.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    O’ Halloran D.J., Tsatsoulis A., Whitehouse R.W., Holmes S.J., Adams J., Shalet S.M.: Increased bone density after recombinant human growth hormone (GH) therapy in adults with isolated GH deficiency. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 76: 1344–1348, 1993.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Vandeweghe M., Taelman P., Kaufman J.M.: Short and long-term effects of growth hormone treatment on bone turnover and bone mineral content in adult growth hormone-deficient males. Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf.) 39: 409–415, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Papadakis M.A., Grady D., Black D., Tierney M.J., Gooding G.A.W., Schambelan M., Grunfeld C.: Growth hormone replacement in healthy older men improves body composition but not functional ability. Ann. Intern. Med. 124: 708–716, 1996.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Maccario M., Delitala G., Minuto F., Aimaretti G., Fanciulli G., Arvat E., Giordano G., Camanni F., Ghigo E.: Dose-response effect of low rhGH doses on IGF-I levels in man. 10th International Congress of Endocrinology, San Francisco U.S.A., June 12–15, 1996. Abstracts book (II), p. 71.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rudman D., Kutner M.H., Rogers C.M., Lubin M.F., Fleming G.A., Boin R.P.: Impaired GH secretion in adult population. J. Clin. Invest. 67: 1361–1369, 1981.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Clemmons D.R., Underwood L.E.: Role of insulin-like growth factors and growth hormone in reversing catabolic states. Horm. Res. 38 (Suppl. 2):37–40, 1992.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cuneo R.C., Salomon F., Wiles C.M., Hesp R., Sonksen P.H.: Growth hormone treatment in growth hormone-deficient adults. I. Effects on muscle mass and strength. J. Appl. Physiol. 70:688–694, 1991.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Taaffe D.R., Pruitt L., Reim J., Hintz R.L., Butterfield G., Hoffman A.R., Marcus R.: Effect of recombinant human growth hormone on the muscle strength response to resistance exercise in elderly men. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 79: 1361–1366, 1994.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Taaffe D.R., Jin I.H., Vu T.H., Hoffman A.R., Marcus R.: Lack of effect of recombinant human growth hormone (GH) on muscle morphology and GH-Insulin-like growth factor expression in resistance-trained elderly men. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 81: 421–425, 1996.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Clemmensen B., Overgaard K., Riis B., Christiansen C.: Human growth hormone and growth hormone releasing hormone: a double-masked, placebo-controlled study of their effects on bone metabolism in elderly women. Osteoporosis Int. 3: 330–336, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Delitala G., Fanciulli G., Giusti M., Giordano G.: MetabolicGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Cuttica
    • 1
  • L. Castoldi
    • 2
  • G. P. Gorrini
    • 3
  • F. Peluffo
    • 2
  • G. Delitala
    • 4
  • P. Filippa
    • 3
  • G. Fanciulli
    • 4
  • M. Giusti
    • 1
  1. 1.DISEM, Cattedra di EndocrinologiaUniversity of GenovaGenovaItaly
  2. 2.Istituto DoriaGenovaItaly
  3. 3.Cattedra di Medicina dello SportUniversity of GenovaGenovaItaly
  4. 4.Cattedra di EndocrinologiaUniversity of SassariSassariItaly

Personalised recommendations