Effects of GH and/or sex steroids on circulating IGF-I and IGFBPs in healthy, aged women and men

Thomas Münzer, Clifford J. Rosen, S. Mitchell Harman, Katherine M. Pabst, Carol St. Clair, John D. Sorkin, Marc R. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Circulating GH, IGF-I, IGFBP-3, and sex steroid concentrations decrease with age. GH or sex steroid treatment increases IGFBP-3, but little is known regarding the effects of these hormones on other IGFBPs. We assessed the effects of 26 wk of administration of GH, sex steroids, or GH + sex steroids on AM levels of IGF-I, IGFBPs 1-5, insulin, glucose, and osteocalcin and 2-h urinary excretion of deoxypyridinolline (DPD) cross-links in 53 women and 71 men aged 65-88 yr. Before treatment, in women and men, IGF-I was directly related to IGFBP-3 (P < 0.001 and P < 0.0001) and IGFBP-1 to IGFBP-2 (P = 0.0001). In women, IGFBP-1 was inversely related to insulin (P < 0.0005) and glucose (P < 0.005) and IGFBP-4 to osteocalcin (P < 0.01). IGFBP-4 and IGFBP-5 were not significantly related to DPD cross-links. GH and/or sex steroid increased IGF-I levels in both sexes, with higher concentrations in men (P < 0.001). In women, the IGF-I increment after GH was attenuated by hormone replacement therapy (HRT) coadministration (P < 0.05). Hormone administration also increased IGFBP-3. IGFBP-1 was unaffected by GH + sex steroids, whereas GH decreased IGFBP-2 by 15% in men (P < 0.05). Hormone administration did not change IGFBP-4, whereas in men IGFBP-5 increased by 20% after GH (P < 0.05) and 56% after GH + testosterone (P + 0.0003). These data demonstrate sexually dimorphic IGFBP responses to GH. Additonally, HRT attenuated or prevented GH-mediated increases in IGF-I and IGFBP-3. Whether GH and/or sex steroid administration alters local tissue production of IGFBPs and whether the latter influence autocrine or paracrine actions of IGF-I remain to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1006-E1013
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth hormone
  • Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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