Concentration of Growth Hormone, IGF-1, Insulin and C-Peptide in Rat Serum During Development of Alimentary Zinc Deficiency

  • H. -P. Roth
  • M. Kirchgessner


The serum zinc represents a small but highly dynamic pool which is significantly reduced within two days on a zinc-deficient diet; thus long before the first zinc deficiency symptoms like loss of appetite and growth depression could be observed. At his time the serum growth hormone concentration of the zinc-deficient rats was less by half, compared with both control groups. The growth promoting effect of growth hormone is largely mediated via insulin like growth factors like IGF-1 and by insulin. In this study led alimentary zinc deficiency in the first experimental days, before feedintake was reduced, to an increase of IGF-1, insulin and C-peptide. With the beginning of the reduction in feed intake and the development of alimentary zinc deficiency they began to decrease however. After prolonged zinc deficiency nutrition a decreased concentration of growth hormone and IGF-1 in the serum could be demonstrated again.

The often very contradictory data in the literature on the influence of an alimentary zinc deficiency on the concentration of growth hormone, IGF-1 and insulin are not only attributed to the duration and severity of zinc deficiency but also to feed intake, because the supply of energy and protein influences the concentration of growth hormone, IGF-1 and insulin in serum, too.


Feed Intake Zinc Deficiency Serum Zinc Growth Hormone Concentration Serum Growth Hormone Level 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. -P. Roth
    • 1
  • M. Kirchgessner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Nutrition PhysiologyTechnical University MunichFreising-WeihenstephanGermany

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