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L Soto, AI Martin, S Millan, E Vara, and A Lopez-Calderon

The aim of this work was to study the effect of chronic activation of the immune system on the somatotropic axis. Accordingly, the changes in growth hormone (GH) secretion, circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs) in response to endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration were examined in adult male Wistar rats. Acute LPS injection (2.5, 25 or 250 microg/kg) increased serum corticosterone in a dose-dependent manner and decreased serum levels of insulin and IGF-I, serum GH concentration declined linearly as the LPS dose increased. Western ligand blot showed an increase in the 33 kDa band (corresponding to IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-2) in the rats that received the highest dose of LPS (250 microg/kg). Chronic LPS administration (250 microg/kg daily for 8 days) significantly decreased body weight, serum levels of IGF-I and pituitary GH content, whereas it increased circulating IGFBP-3 (47 kDa band), IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-2 (33 kDa band) and the 24 kDa band (which possibly corresponds to IGFBP-4). Serum concentration of corticosterone and hypothalamic somatostatin content were also increased by chronic LPS treatment. These data suggest that the decrease in GH and IGF-I secretion and the increase in circulating IGFBPs are important mechanisms in body weight loss during chronic inflammation.

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I Ibanez De Caceres, MA Villanua, L Soto, AI Martin, and A Lopez-Calderon

Adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats is associated with growth failure, hypermetabolism and accelerated protein breakdown. We have previously reported that adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats results in a decrease in body weight gain, pituitary GH mRNA, circulating GH and IGF-I together with an increase in serum IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs). The aim of this study was to analyze the role of GH in the decrease in body weight and in the alterations in the IGF-I system observed in chronic inflammation. Male Wistar rats were injected with complete Freund's adjuvant and 16 days later arthritic rats were injected daily with recombinant human GH (rhGH) (3 IU/kg s.c.) for 8 days; control rats received 250 microl saline. Arthritis significantly decreased body weight gain and serum IGF-I. These decreases were not due to the reduced food intake, since in pair-fed rats they were not observed. Furthermore, administration of rhGH to arthritic rats increased body weight gain without modifying food intake. To further investigate the effect of GH administration, 14 days after adjuvant injection both control and arthritic rats were treated with 0, 1.5, 3 or 6 IU/kg of rhGH. GH treatment at the dose of 3 and 6 IU/kg significantly increased body weight gain in arthritic rats. GH administration, at the higher dose of 6 IU/kg, increased hepatic and serum concentrations of IGF-I in both control and arthritic rats. In control rats, rhGH at the three doses assayed increased circulating IGFBP-3. GH treatment in arthritic rats decreased IGFBP-1 and -2, and did not modify IGFBP-4. GH treatment at the dose of 3 IU/kg also decreased circulating IGFBP-3 in arthritic rats. These data suggest that GH treatment can ameliorate the catabolism observed in adjuvant-induced arthritis, an effect mediated, at least in part, by modifications in the circulating IGFBPs.

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T Priego, M Granado, I Ibanez de Caceres, AI Martin, MA Villanua, and A Lopez-Calderon

While it is well known that sepsis inhibits serum IGF-I and its gene expression in the liver, the effect on pituitary GH and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) is poorly understood. The GH-IGF-I-IGFBP-3 response to different doses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration has been investigated in adult male rats. Two experiments were performed, administration of low doses of LPS (5, 10, 50 and 100 microg/kg) and high doses of LPS (100, 250, 500 and 1000 microg/kg). Rats received two i.p. injections of LPS (at 1730 h and 0830 h the following day) and were killed 4 h after the second injection. LPS administration induced a biphasic response in serum concentrations of GH, with an increase at the 10 microg/kg dose, followed by a decrease at higher doses (100 microg/kg on up). Pituitary GH mRNA was also increased by the administration of 10 and 50 microg/kg LPS, whereas at higher doses LPS did not modify pituitary GH mRNA. We also analyzed the GH response to LPS in primary pituitary cell cultures. When exposed to LPS, in the culture medium, there was an increase in GH release at the concentration of 0.1 and 10 ng/ml, whereas more concentrated LPS did not modify GH release. Serum concentrations of IGF-I declined in a dose-dependent fashion after LPS administration in the rats injected with 10 microg/kg LPS on up. This decrease is secondary to modifications in its synthesis in the liver, since endotoxin injection decreased both IGF-I and its mRNA in the liver. The liver GH receptor mRNA was also decreased by LPS administration, but only in the animals injected with high LPS doses. There was a decrease in both the IGFBP-3 serum levels and its gene expression in the liver with all LPS doses studied. These data suggest a biphasic LPS effect on pituitary GH, a stimulatory effect at low doses and an inhibitory effect at higher doses, whereas it has a clear inhibitory effect on IGF-I and IGFBP-3 synthesis in the liver. The decrease in liver IGFBP-3 mRNA and in serum concentrations of IGFBP-3 in the rats injected with LPS may contribute to the decrease in serum concentrations of IGF-I.

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T Priego, I Ibanez de Caceres, AI Martin, MA Villanua, and A Lopez-Calderon

The aim of this work was to elucidate the possible role of glucocorticoids in the bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced decrease in hepatic IGF-I synthesis. For this purpose, we studied the effect of LPS on IGF-I in two rat strains, Wistar and Lewis, which have different adrenal responses to inflammation. Compared with Wistar rats, Lewis rats have a reduced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response to inflammatory stimuli. Rats received two i.p. injections of 1 mg/kg LPS and were killed 4 h after the second injection. LPS induced an increase in serum concentrations of both ACTH and corticosterone, the increase being more pronounced in Wistar than in Lewis rats. LPS decreased hepatic GH receptor (GHR) and IGF-I mRNA only in Wistar rats. However, serum concentrations of IGF-I were significantly decreased (P<0.01) in both Wistar and Lewis rats. These data indicate that the adrenal axis may mediate the inhibitory effect of LPS on GHR and IGF-I synthesis in the liver. In a second experiment, adrenalectomized or sham-operated Wistar rats were injected with LPS. Two LPS injections (0.1 mg/kg) decreased serum concentrations of IGF-I in both type of rat; however, the inhibitory effect of LPS on liver GHR and IGF-I mRNA was observed in adrenalectomized rats, but not in intact rats. All these data suggest that some component of the adrenal axis, other than glucocorticoids, mediates the inhibitory effect of LPS on liver GHR and IGF-I.

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I Ibanez De Caceres, JM Holly, T Priego, AI Martin, A Lopez-Calderon, and MA Villanua

Adjuvant-induced arthritis is a chronic inflammatory illness that induces a catabolic state, with a decrease in pituitary GH and hepatic IGF-I synthesis. We have previously observed an increase in serum IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) in arthritic rats, and found that GH administration prevents the increase in circulating IGFBP-3 in arthritic rats. The aim of this work was therefore to study IGFBP-3 synthesis in the liver as well as its proteolysis in serum as the two possible causes of the increased circulating IGFBP-3 in arthritic rats. The effect of recombinant human GH (rhGH) administration was also analysed. Adult male Wistar rats were injected with complete Freund's adjuvant or vehicle, and 14 days later they were injected s.c. daily until day 22 after adjuvant injection with rhGH (3 IU/kg) or saline. Three hours after the last GH injection, all rats were killed by decapitation. Arthritis increased serum IGFBP-3 levels (P<0.01). The increase in serum IGFBP-3 levels in arthritic rats seems to be due to decreased proteolysis (P<0.01) rather than to an increased synthesis, since liver IGFBP-3 mRNA content was not modified by arthritis. GH administration to control rats resulted in an increase in both hepatic IGFBP-3 mRNA content and in serum IGFBP-3 levels in spite of the increase in IGFBP-3 proteolysis in serum. In arthritic rats, GH treatment did not modify liver IGFBP-3 synthesis, but it increased serum proteolysis of IGFBP-3, leading to a serum concentration of IGFBP-3 similar to that of control rats. Furthermore, there was a negative correlation between circulating IGFBP-3 and its proteolytic activity in the serum of adjuvant-induced arthritic rats. These data suggest that in chronic arthritis the increase in IGFBP-3 serum concentration is secondary to a decrease in proteolytic activity, rather than to an increase in hepatic IGFBP-3 gene expression.