, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 573–581 | Cite as

Expression of the growth hormone receptor isoforms and its correlation with the metabolic profile in morbidly obese subjects

  • Etual Espinosa
  • Latife Salame
  • Daniel Marrero-Rodriguez
  • Andy-Michel Romero-Nieves
  • Dalia Cuenca
  • Osvaldo-Daniel Castelan-Martínez
  • Victoria Mendoza
  • Gustavo Ponce-Navarrete
  • Mauricio Salcedo
  • Enrique Luque-Leòn
  • Arturo Rodriguez-Gonzalez
  • Moisés MercadoEmail author
Original Article


Background and aim of the study

Given the lipolytic effect of GH and its potential role in determining adipose tissue distribution, we evaluated the expression of the GH hormone receptor (GHR) isoforms in patients with morbid obesity seeking associations with metabolic parameters.


262 morbidly obese subjects (mean age 42.5 ± 11 years, 75% women) underwent PCR-genotyping of the exon 3 GHR polymorphism. In 17 of these subjects, who proved to be heterozygous for the exon 3 genotype (+3/−3), subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue was obtained during bariatric surgery; total RNA was extracted, reversely transcribed, and the different isoforms of the GHR (exon 3 containing and lacking flGHR as well as the trGHR) were PCR-amplified using specific primers.


27% were +3/+3 homozygous, 20% −3/−3 homozygous and 53% were +3/−3 heterozygous. Compared to subjects homozygous for the +3 genotype, homozygous and heterozygous carriers of the −3 genotype were significantly heavier and tended to have a higher HOMA 2-IR. Expression of the flGHR and trGHR mRNA was demonstrated in all evaluated samples of subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue from the 17 patients. The exon 3+ isoform was expressed in all adipose tissue samples, whereas only six subjects expressed the 3− isoform as well. The only distinctive feature of these six patients was a higher HbA1c.


The heterozygous GHR +3/−3 genotype is more prevalent in subjects with morbid obesity. Patients expressing the exon +3 and exon −3 isoforms in adipose tissue had a higher HbA1c, than those expressing only the exon −3 isoform.


Morbid obesity GH GH Receptor Metabolic syndrome Adipose tissue Exon 3 GHR 



This study was funded by two institutional grants from Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social: R-2013-3601-227 and R-2015-785-015.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures involving human paricipants were in accordance to the ethical standards of the Institutional Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Etual Espinosa
    • 1
  • Latife Salame
    • 1
  • Daniel Marrero-Rodriguez
    • 2
  • Andy-Michel Romero-Nieves
    • 3
  • Dalia Cuenca
    • 1
  • Osvaldo-Daniel Castelan-Martínez
    • 4
  • Victoria Mendoza
    • 1
  • Gustavo Ponce-Navarrete
    • 2
  • Mauricio Salcedo
    • 2
  • Enrique Luque-Leòn
  • Arturo Rodriguez-Gonzalez
  • Moisés Mercado
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Endocrinology Service/Experimental Endocrinology Unit and Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXIInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialJuárezMexico
  2. 2.Obesity Clinic Hospital de Especialidades and Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXIInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialJuárezMexico
  3. 3.Oncology Research Unit, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXIInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialJuárezMexico
  4. 4.Facultad de Estudios Superiores ZaragozaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoZaragozaMexico

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