Obesity is associated with an impairment of normal growth hormone (GH) secretion and blunted responses to all stimuli. A high plasma free fatty acid (FFA) level is frequently observed in obesity. FFA participates in the regulation of pituitary GH secretion. To determine whether the derangement of GH secretion in obesity is associated with high plasma FFA levels, tests with GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) and acipimox (ACX), an antilipolytic agent able to decrease FFA, were undertaken in six obese subjects and seven normal control subjects. In addition, the effect of prolonged suppression of FFA level on GH response to GHRH after administration of ACX for 1 month was also examined in each of the obese subjects. The GH response in obese subjects (median, 9.1 μg/L) to GHRH (1-29) (1 μg/kg intravenously [IV]) was significantly blunted as compared with normal control subjects (23.5 μg/L, P < .05). Basal FFA levels were higher in obese subjects (855.2 μEq/L) than in normal control subjects (514.6 μEq/L, P < .05). One-dose ACX (500 mg) decreased FFA levels in both obese and normal subjects: the lowest FFA levels in obese subjects (158.3 μEq/L) 2 to 2.5 hours after ACX were similar to those of normal control subjects (108.7 μEq/L). One-dose ACX potentiated GHRH-stimulated GH response in both obese and normal subjects. GH responses potentiated by ACX in obese subjects (27.1 μg/L) were similar to GH responses to GHRH in normal control subjects, but lower than in normal subjects treated with ACX plus GHRH (58.5 μg/L, P < .05). Thereafter, all of the obese subjects were treated with ACX for 1 month, after which the ACX plus GHRH tests were repeated. After 1 month of acipimox administration in the obese subjects, GH responses (38.8 μg/L) were significantly higher than those of obese subjects treated with GHRH end one-dose ACX plus GHRH (P < .05). They were similar to GH responses of normal control subjects receiving the one-dose ACX plus GHRH test. In conclusion, in obesity the prolonged suppression of FFA levels induced by long-term administration of ACX potentiated somatotrope responsiveness, likely acting at the pituitary level, suggesting that the duration of FFA suppression had an important relation to the magnitude of GH response.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism