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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