Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) influences bone turnover. Transient decreases in IGF-I levels and/or bioavailability may contribute to the detrimental effects of alcohol on bone. The goals of this non-human primate study were to i) evaluate the 20-h response of bone turnover markers to ethanol consumption and ii) assess how ethanol consumption influences the relationship between IGF-1 and these markers. Osteocalcin (bone formation), carboxyterminal cross-linking telopeptide of type 1 collagen (CTX, bone resorption), IGF-1, and IGF binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) were measured in plasma from male rhesus macaques (N = 10, 8.4 ± 0.3 years) obtained at 12:00, 16:00, and 06:00 h during two phases: pre-ethanol (alcohol-naïve) and ethanol access. During the ethanol access phase, monkeys consumed 1.5 g/kg/day ethanol (4% w/v) beginning at 10:00 h. Osteocalcin and CTX were lower, and the ratio of osteocalcin to CTX was higher at each time point during ethanol access compared to the pre-ethanol phase. Pre-ethanol marker levels did not vary across time points, but markers varied during ethanol access. IGF-1 levels, but not IGFBP-1 levels, varied during the pre-ethanol phase. In contrast, IGF-1 levels were stable during ethanol access but IGFBP-1 levels varied. There were positive relationships between IGF-1 and turnover markers during the pre-ethanol phase, but not during ethanol access. In conclusion, chronic ethanol consumption reduces levels of bone turnover markers and blocks the normal positive relationship between IGF-1 and turnover markers and alters the normal relationship between IGF-1 and IGFBP-1. These findings support the hypothesis that chronic alcohol consumption leads to growth hormone/IGF-1 resistance.
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